Bids headed by the Ricketts family, Todd Boehly and Sir Martin Broughton on the shortlist being finalised by Raine Group to buy Chelsea; Atalanta co-owner Stephen Pagliuca also on the list; Nick Candy still hoping to be part of the process
The Ricketts family have made it onto the shortlist alongside the bids submitted by Sir Martin Broughton and Todd Boehly in the race to buy Chelsea.
Chicago Cubs owners the Ricketts family, LA Dodgers part-owner Boehly, and former Liverpool chairman Broughton now lead the race to take charge at Stamford Bridge.
As first reported by Sky News on Thursday, Boston Celtics and Atalanta co-owner Stephen Pagliuca has also made a bid and is on the shortlist.
Chelsea fan Nick Candy has not given up hope of playing a part in Chelsea’s future. Candy’s spokesperson said on Friday: “We continue to evaluate and participate in meaningful conversations in the bidding process. Nick has always made it clear that the fans and safeguarding the future of the club are his only interests in this process.”
Bids which make it onto the shortlist will be given access to Chelsea’s data room. They will be given a password which will allow them to look at all Chelsea’s financial data – including player contracts.
They will also have the opportunity to visit the club and meet key personnel such as manager Thomas Tuchel, chairman Bruce Buck and chief executive Guy Laurence.
The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust earlier issued a statement voicing its concerns about the ability of the Ricketts family to run an “inclusive, successful club”.
“If they are unable to address these and gain confidence of supporters, we do not believe it would be in the best interests of our members for the bid to succeed,” the Trust wrote on social media.
Tom Ricketts, who is leading his family’s bid, issued a statement in response, thanking fans and supporters for meeting them and saying “it is now up to us to redouble our efforts and clearly lay out a vision for our stewardship of the club with diversity and inclusion at its heart”.
Raine spent Thursday informing a host of unsuccessful bidders they were out of the auction before starting the process of confirming the shortlist in the race to buy the Blues.
The New York bank will dig into further details of remaining submissions once the shortlist is rubber-stamped.
US magnate Boehly and his Eldridge Industries firm has backing from Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss and respected British business leader Jonathan Goldstein.
Former British Airways chairman Broughton has drafted in sports business and politics heavyweight Lord Sebastian Coe, adding genuine clout to his consortium.
Wall Street investment banker Michael Klein has added a major financial edge, with a number of other backers also involved.
The Cubs-owning Ricketts family boasts the financial muscle of US hedge fund supremo Ken Griffin, believing their experience of renovating storied stadium Wrigley Field offers an edge in their candidacy given Stamford Bridge’s required rebuild.
Roman Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale on March 2, amid Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine.
Downing Street must approve another new licence to authorise Chelsea’s eventual sale, with the money either frozen or distributed to charitable funds to aid victims of the war in Ukraine.
Chelsea Q&A: Will takeover saga affect club’s summer plans?
Analysis by Sky Sports News Chief Reporter Kaveh Solhekol
Definitely. Is Marina Granovskaia going to be there? She’s the one overseeing all the transfer business. She’s the one who’s in charge of negotiating all the contracts – I’m not sure she’s going to stay. This is the kind of time of year where Chelsea would be working hard behind the scenes before the window opens, working out who they’re going to try and sell, who was going to leave. All of those plans have been put on hold for the time being.
The only thing I would say is that Chelsea have such a fantastic squad anyway, but obviously you would have expected them to have done some business this summer. Everything has just been put on hold. A few months ago we were talking about the fact that they were in for Erling Haaland. It’s just not happening at the moment and I can’t really see any of these consortiums coming in quickly, sorting things out, taking over, backing Thomas Tuchel and saying, ‘here you go, here’s another £100m to buy another striker
They’re not allowed to do any transfer business at the moment. They’re not allowed to offer contracts. They’re not allowed to be talking to players about contracts or offering new contracts. From an agent’s point of view, an agent is paid to look after his player. I’m not sure any agents at the moment would be saying to their clients, as far as Chelsea are concerned, wait and see. It’s not a stable situation. Until we’ve got some more information about what the future is going to look like it’s difficult to come out and say, ‘I want to stay at Chelsea’ or ‘I want to sign for Chelsea’. From Chelsea’s point of view the situation needs to be sorted out as soon as possible.