Arsenal legend Ian Wright has sent an indirect message to potential Chelsea takeover candidates, including the Saudi Media group, stating that any new owner must have their intentions to own a football club questioned before a potential deal goes through.
Friday has been set as a deadline for bids to be made to buy the club after Roman Abramovich was disqualified as an owner following the UK government’s decision to sanction him last week. Property developer Nick Candy and a consortium led by the American billionaire Todd Boehly are the front runners but Saudi Media’s interest is clear.
Mohamed Al-Khereiji, the leader of the consortium, claims to have big plans for the club if his bid is successful and he has been to Stamford Bridge in the past. GOAL have reported that “meetings continued today about the Saudi Media bid, and it has been independently verified by a UK government source.”
READ MORE: Chelsea face familiar FSG and Liverpool dilemma as Saudi Media and Todd Boehly make moves
This report had been backed up with the fact that CBS reporter Ben Jacobs via the Mirror had claimed on Monday that Khereiji and co had submitted an opening £ 2.7billion bid to buy the club outright. While the consortium claims it has no direct links to the Saudi government, there are questions around the optics of having a second Premier League club owned by a group from a country that last week executed 81 men.
Thomas Tuchel, the Chelsea head coach, questioned the ‘ethics and morals’ of Premier League yesterday. “At some point we have to trust the process, the process of the league to control who owns a club,” said Chelsea head coach Tuchel. “We are famous employees because we speak into a camera and on TV, but in general we are only employees and need to trust the process.
“Like you need to trust the process when you work for a company doing ethically and morally wrong things. Sometimes we need to ask questions of the process, how this goes. It’s maybe an ongoing process and it will never end, and just reminds us to be aware and conscious about it and not look away. “
The Chelsea manager added in his post-match press conference regarding the 81 executions: “Wow, that is a big one. Unfortunately, the situation is like this also for the owners of Newcastle and that effects, yes. What can I say? I don’t want to point the finger because comparing yourself or blaming others does not make the situation for us a different situation.
“The statement, that we condemn war and the actions from Russia towards Ukraine, there is no doubt. But we’re facing the consequences actually at the moment and this is where the focus is. I hope you can understand.”
Then Wright, the former Arsenal man, made his feelings known on Match of the Day 2 by demanding that those in positions of power “look” into the political situation surrounding any potential new owners.
“It’s down to the Premier League and Government to find a resolution as quickly as possible for Chelsea now. I think it’s important to also look at who owns football clubs and why,” he said.
Danny Murphy, the former Liverpool midfielder, added: “There’s an owners test that needs looking at. If it needs to be legislation and law then so be it. It’s a horrible position for Chelsea, many who could lose their livelihood. The Premier League are looking into it, that’s what we’ve been told, but you need actions. “
These worries about any immoral owners may not come to fruition in the end with it being reported by The Times that Todd Boehly’s consortium with property developer Jonathan Goldstein is leading the race as of Monday, March 14 ..