As we wait to find out who the next owners of Chelsea will be — might we have a decision this week maybe? — here’s another pertinent detail emerging, once again from Sky News who seem to have a requirement for daily coverage on this.
Apparently, all bidders will be contractually required to make at least a 10-year commitment to the club, unable to sell their controlling stake until 2032 at the earliest. They will be able to raise additional funding and issue new shares if necessary, but they won’t be able to divest for the first decade of ownership. While Sky claim this is “unprecedented” in such a transaction, it’s somewhat similar to initial public offerings (IPOs) in companies, where institutional investors must hold on to their shares for a specific period of time (90-180 days, or more) to provide stability, avoid (overt) market manipulation, and prevent flipping and quick profit-taking schemes.
This is obviously a more extreme version of that, and hopefully well aligned with any of the new ownership groups trying to come in — which it seems to be, but you never know for sure until you see things in action. Writing it into the contract itself should ensure that as much as possible, presumably for the good of the club.
Exclusive: The final bidders for Chelsea FC have been told to guarantee that their controlling shareholders will not sell any of their stakes in the Premier League club until at least 2032 - a move designed to ensure continuity under its next owners. https://t.co/KNxRdWz3as— Mark Kleinman (@MarkKleinmanSky) April 25, 2022
In related news, claims from the Mail on Sunday that one of the three remaining bidders will be eliminated before a third round of bidding would be a conducted have been debunked by both Raine Group and by Stephen Pagliuca’s consortium, who were supposedly the ones on the chopping block. The Mail’s report also claimed that the government would be involved in making the decision, which has been repeatedly denied by everyone involved in the process.