21 Mar 2022

By: Sport Industry Group

Following the deadline for all bids from potential Chelsea FC buyers, the decision-making process is expected to quickly produce a new owner.

It has been suggested that there were over 200 interested parties in the aftermath of government sanctions against Roman Abramovich, but the number of submitted bids was expected to be around 15. The official deadline to purchase the west London Premier League club was 21:00 GMT on Friday 18 March, but some final bids were submitted through the weekend.

Merchant bank The Raine Group, which is overseeing the sale, is expected to reduce the list of potential buyers to a shortlist of up to four bidders early this week. The preferred bidder will then require government approval, which will involve proving the source of funds and where the money goes next. Any sale will also need to be signed off by the Premier League's owners' and directors' test - known as the 'fit and proper person's test'.

Among the most serious bidders are Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly’s group, New York Jets owner, Woody Johnson, the Saudi Media Group, Chicago Cubs owner, Tom Ricketts, and British business owner Nick Candy. Chelsea fan Candy said that he had secured additional investment from South Korea over the weekend and that his bid is "over £2bn".

Another high-profile bid was submitted by a consortium led by ex-Liverpool chairman Sir Martin Broughton and Lord Coe.

Former British Airways chairman, Broughton, said "I remain the only person [in the bidding process] to have effected a change of ownership at a major football club in a similar situation, which I did at Liverpool 12 years ago. As a lifelong fan, I am committed to ensuring Chelsea maintains its preeminent position at the top of European football and making sure we put fans first."

Global investment firm Centricus is the latest group to fund another British bid to buy Chelsea, claiming it wants to "maintain and support existing management".

Turkish businessman Muhsin Bayrak, who had previously expressed an interest in the club, said late on Friday that his company AB Group Holding had not filed a bid. This was attributed to a failure to meet the deadline.


Image: Shutterstock