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John Terry’s True Blue Consortium hops aboard the Pagliuca train


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Chelsea’s sale is about to coming to an end Photo by Rasid Necati Aslim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

One of the more interesting sideshows in this whole Chelsea sales process have been the attempts at relevance of the John Terry-led “True Blue Consortium”.

The TBC looks like an NFT and smells like an NFT and quacks like an NFT (in part because of JT’s involvement), but claims to have “nothing to do with NFTs”, and wants to instead lead the way for fan ownership at the club by acquiring a 10 per cent stake during this transition period. They would in turn sell “shares” (don’t call them tokens!) from that 10 per cent starting at £100 a pop, though it gets a bit sketchier from there as they also want to introduce a secondary market where these shares could get bought and sold and traded. Not an NFT though, they say.

In any case, whatever this concept may or may not look like and become in the end — it’s still only just a model, like Camelot — they had been independent from the actual bidding process, intending to work with whoever the next owners of the club will eventually be. And while that remains the case, they have thrown their public support behind the Stephen Pagliuca-led bid.

“Having engaged and being well received by all the bidders we were recently able to spend some time with Steve and Larry and getting to know their bid we’re again confident that they are aligned with Chelsea fans, and of course have experience in this area of owning sports teams.

“We feel the club are in a fortunate position with the final bidders and look forward to continuing dialogue with them.”

-True Blue Consortium statement; source: Sky

The TBC claims to have already amassed £150m in pledges from over 10,000 Chelsea fans, which is a fairly bold claim considering that pledges are non-binding and involve simply entering an email address into an online form, but perhaps I’m just being a cynical luddite.

The idea of fan ownership is certainly worthy of attention and exploration — in whatever form that may take: golden shares, pitch-owners, actual shares, etc.

The bidding deadline for Paglicua & Co, and for the other three consortiums vying for the club, is tomorrow. Hopefully that deadline doesn’t get postponed again, and we move on to the part where we actually start evaluating these final bids and making our determination of the winners. While this process has been fast by the standards of such processes, the end of the season is looming and the UK government don’t seem to be willing to let us operate normally again until the new ownership group is in place.

Oh, and in case you need it, here’s a nice little puff-piece on the Boehly bid, talking up their winning mentality with the LA Dodgers. But we already knew that!

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