After a couple weeks of seemingly treading water — though obviously with plenty of action and due diligence being done behind the scenes — we have some movement in the Chelsea bidding process. And like London buses, when you don’t get one for a while, suddenly there’s a whole host of them coming along.
A couple of those buses contain the Stephen Pagliuca and Sir Martin Broughton bids, and they are both going the wrong way, having been apparently informed that they won’t be the ones named on Monday as the preferred bidders. This is well in line with how this situation has been playing out since day one, with the Boehly bid the first to publicly acknowledge and jump in and pretty much staying in the lead from then on — especially after the Ricketts bid dropped out.
Breaking: Stephen Pagliuca's group have been informed they will not be the preferred bidder for Chelsea— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) April 29, 2022
Sources close to Chelsea sale process tell me the Sir Martin Broughton bid may also be out of the running. But no confirmation yet from his group #cfc— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) April 29, 2022
Meanwhile, from the other side of The Pond, the Wall Street Journal are reporting that Todd Boehly is “set to enter exclusive talks” with Chelsea — i.e. he’s about to be named the winner.
Breaking: Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly is set to enter exclusive talks in the bidding war to acquire Chelsea FC from Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, people familiar with the matter say https://t.co/7Do1pdO4uq— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) April 29, 2022
And if Boehly’s exclusive, that will be bad news for Sir Jim Ratcliffe as well, who confirmed today that he lobbed a last-minute bid in the club’s direction, well past any deadline and seemingly without being involved in any of the previously public and private process.
On the surface of it, there’s nothing in this bid to differentiate it from the Boehly bid (or the other two, probably), so I’m guessing he’s just looking for attention, having made it pretty clear that Chelsea were not a wise investment before — and he also owns OGC Nice in Ligue 1, which could create a conflict just like for Pagliuca and Atalanta.
Chelsea sale has taken a huge twist with a 4.25m offer from Jim Ratcliffe. There was always talk of a fifth 'mystery' bidder but Raine played this down. The offer will be billed as 'last minute' but has been planned (but not tabled) since late March.— Ben Jacobs (@JacobsBen) April 29, 2022
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Chairman of INEOS, has made a formal bid for Chelsea FC, for £4.25bn. £2.5bn is committed to the Charitable Trust to support victims of the war, with £1.75bn committed to investment directly into the club over the next 10 years.
This is a British bid, for a British club.
We believe that a club is bigger than its owners who are temporary custodians of a great tradition. With responsibility to the fans and the community.
That is why we are committing to spending £1.75bn over 10 years that will be for the direct benefit of the club.
We will invest in Stamford Bridge to make it a world-class stadium, befitting of Chelsea FC.This will be organic and on-going so that we will not move away from the home of Chelsea and risk losing the support of loyal fans.
We will continue to invest in the team to ensure we have a first class squad of the world’s greatest players, coaches and support staff, in the men’s and women’s games.
And we hope to continue to invest in the academy to provide opportunity for talented youngsters to develop into first class players.
We are making this investment as fans of the beautiful game – not as a means to turn a profit. We do that with our core businesses. The club is rooted in its community and its fans.And it is our intention to invest in Chelsea FC for that reason.
No further comment will be made from Sir Jim or INEOS during the bidding process.