Roman Abramovich makes ‘incredibly difficult decision’ to sell Chelsea
The sale of Chelsea FC continues to drag on as the New York merchant bank overseeing the process, the Raine Group, compiles a shortlist of three preferred offers.
The various interested parties had expected to receive word on whether they had made the final three early this week but the complexity of the deal and information involved has meant more time is needed, despite the clear urgency of the matter following Roman Abramovich’s santions by the UK government.
British property tycoon Nick Candy revealed he “significantly” increased the amount offered for the club. American-backed bids from LA Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly and Chicago Cubs owners the Ricketts family are among the frontrunners to take over – although a supporters group have expressed their distaste at the Ricketts bid – while Sir Martin Broughton and Lord Sebastian Coe have a potent offering lodged and Saudi Media Group is another of the bids understood to carry clout. London-based global investment firm Centricus confirmed its bid to buy Chelsea on Monday, with a consortium comprising four Blues supporters.
Chelsea are currently banned from selling match tickets to fans but the FA are ‘working with government’ to allow Blues fans to purchase tickets to their upcoming FA Cup semi-final against Crystal Palace.
Follow all the latest Chelsea takeover news below:
Roman Abramovich ‘in talks’ to buy new football club, according to Turkish media
Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale in early March before he was hit with sanctions by the UK government and had his assets frozen as a direct result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but is still able to sell the club – providing he doesn’t benefit from the proceeds.
And now, Fanatik have stated that the Russian billionaire is keen to remain within football, so has started negotiations to buy Turkish Super Lig club Goztepe. Turkey is currently not applying sanctions to Russians, and Abramovich’s superyachts have been seen docking in Turkey.
Goztepe president Mehmet Sepil recently announced that he would be leaving his role at the club but would would keep hold of duties until a replacement was found and talks between him and Abramovich’s representatives have supposedly already begun.
Luke Baker23 March 2022 15:20
Nick Candy ‘significantly’ increases bid for club
Nick Candy has “significantly” increased his bid to buy Chelsea, a spokesperson for the British property tycoon confirmed.
Chelsea fan Candy has secured further funding through another South Korean financial backer, allowing the 49-year-old to submit an improved offer for the Stamford Bridge club.
Candy added South Korean investors Hana Financial Group and C&P Sports Group to the bid he submitted to New York bank Raine Group on Friday.
But the London billionaire has now further strengthened his hand, in the hope of pushing onto the shortlist of preferred bids being compiled by Raine.
Luke Baker23 March 2022 15:07
US-Saudi investor Amr Zedan, owner of the Medina Spirit, bids for Chelsea
The owner of disqualified Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit is among the bidders for Chelsea as part of the accelerated search for a new owner, a person with knowledge of the process told The Associated Press.
Amr Zedan, a Los Angeles-born Saudi investor, has registered his bid with the Raine Group – the bank overseeing the sale of the reigning European and world champions, the person said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the bid publicly.
Zedan is chairman of the Zedan Group, which is involved in the energy and petrochemical sectors in Saudi Arabia and features the Zedan Racing Stables. He is married to Princess Noor Bint Asem of Jordan.
He joins a list of at least six publicly disclosed bidders for the west London club and Zedan, who is also chairman of the Saudi Polo Federation, is working on securing further financing.
Zedan has not been linked to the doping scandal that saw Medina Spirit test positive after the Kentucky Derby last May for a steroid, betamethasone, that is legal in Kentucky but banned on race day. The positive test threw the world’s best-known horse race into turmoil and cast an unflattering spotlight on trainer Bob Baffert.
Luke Baker23 March 2022 14:54
Wait to discover Raine Group’s preferred bidders drags on
Chelsea suitors’ anxious wait to discover the shortlist of preferred bidders for the Premier League club looked set to drag on.
New York merchant bank the Raine Group will continue compiling the bids to whittle down a shortlist as tight as three offers.
The interested parties bidding for the Blues had initially expected to receive word on their candidacy on either Monday or Tuesday but the complex nature of the bids and sheer volume of information left Raine opting to take more time putting together that shortlist.
By close of business on Tuesday in the UK the various bidders for Chelsea had not received an update on the process. And Raine could require several more days yet to finalize the list.
Luke Baker23 March 2022 14:40
Government urged to act as English football faces ‘now or never moment’
The Government has been urged to commit to legislation in its response to the fan-led review of football by the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham.
Burnham says English football has reached “a now or never moment” and that significant reform will only be achieved if an independent regulator, recommended by the fan-led review, is underpinned by legislation.
Burnham, a supporter of the Fair Game group which seeks reforms to make clubs more sustainable, said: “There’s no doubt English football is at a crossroads.
Luke Baker23 March 2022 14:27
Thiago Silva hands Chelsea boost after revealing plan to emulate Paolo Maldini
The Brazilian defender, 37, recently extended his Chelsea contract by a further season until the summer of 2023.
Having spent the final half-a-season of Maldini’s career alongside the Italian in AC Milan’s defense, Silva was offered an insight into what enabled the defender to have such longevity.
Maldini made his debut in 1985 at the Lombardy club and went on to play more than 900 times, before retiring at the age of 40 in 2009.
Silva believes that he extend his career similarly, and thinks he still has plenty left to give at the top level after changing his approach to ensure he recovers properly between games.
“I hope I can do the same thing that [Paolo] Maldini did at Milan, playing until he was 40 or 41 years old, ”Silva told the Chelsea club website. “That’s my plan for the immediate future and I have prepared myself for that.
“When you’re young, you think you’re a superhero. I’d play one game a day so in terms of recovery it was a lot quicker, whereas now 24 hours seems like no time at all in which to recover. “
Luke Baker23 March 2022 14:14
Ricketts family respond to Chelsea fan backlash at bid to buy club
The Ricketts family have rejected all hate “in the strongest possible terms” amid supporter unrest at the Chicago Cubs owners’ candidacy to buy Chelsea.
Chelsea fans had the hashtag ‘NoToRicketts’ trending on Twitter, with supporters raising concerns with the club and online.
Family patriarch Joe Ricketts was accused of Islamophobia in 2019, after a string of emails were leaked but the Ricketts family have now moved to insist they do not accept any kind of racism or hatred, in a bid to prove their suitability to take over Chelsea from Roman Abramovich.
“Our family rejects any form of hate in the strongest possible terms,” said the Ricketts family. “Racism and Islamophobia have no place whatsoever in our society. We have developed deep and abiding partnerships with the Muslim community in Chicago, as well as with all communities of color.
“Respect for diversity and inclusion are central to our family’s values. If we prevail in our bid for Chelsea, we commit to the club and to the fans that we will actively promote these values. “
Luke Baker23 March 2022 14:03
Thomas Tuchel says Chelsea will give everything in their pursuit of silverware
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has promised his team will give everything in an unlikely attempt to reel in Premier League pacesetters Manchester City and Liverpool.
The Blues made light of the off-field issues surrounding the club on Saturday evening to ease their way into the FA Cup semi-finals with a comfortable 2-0 sixth round victory at Championship Middlesbrough.
They will hope their ongoing ownership issues are resolved by the time they run out at Wembley next month and in the meantime, will set about the task of attempting to close a 10-point gap to the second-placed Reds, who trail the reigning champions by a single point.
Asked if they could still involve themselves in the race, Tuchel, whose side have lost only once in 14 games in all competitions – on penalties to Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final – said: “The problem is they are also on a run since a long time.
“They are like three years on a run, I have the feeling, it seems like they are three years on a run and it’s like our 13 games is not enough.
“We have to be honest. We will never admit anything before things are decided, we will always push ourselves and push ourselves to the limit. We cannot do anything else. “
Luke Baker23 March 2022 13:48
Thomas Tuchel impressed by players’ reaction to Chelsea off-field uncertainty
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel insisted he has been impressed rather than surprised by the way his players have handled the uncertainly surrounding the club.
Asked if he had been surprised, Tuchel said: “They have impressed me – not surprised, but impressed.
“At one point, we needed to accept that we did not cause the situation and we cannot influence the situation, we cannot change the situation no matter what we do and how much we talk about it and how much we worry.”
Luke Baker23 March 2022 13:35
FA ‘working with government’ to allow Chelsea to sell tickets for cup semi-final
Chelsea can now expect to have full support at their FA Cup semi-final against Crystal Palace.
Roman Abramovich’s UK Government sanctions currently bar the Blues from selling any new tickets, but the Football Association has announced it is in talks with the Government over amendments to the club’s operating license to allow tickets to be sold for next month’s Wembley showdown.
“We hope to have sell-out crowds at both of our Emirates FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley Stadium,” an FA spokesperson said.
“This includes tickets for Chelsea supporters for their match against Crystal Palace, and we are working with the Government on a method to achieve this whilst respecting the sanctions that are currently in place on Chelsea.”
Luke Baker23 March 2022 13:22