March 17 – Chicago Cubs owners and a Lord Coe consortium have confirmed their intention to bid for Chelsea, with potential buyers having until Friday to enter the race to own the club.
The Rickets family, who own Major League Baseball franchise the Chicago Cubs, have reportedly partnered with US hedge fund entrepreneur Ken Griffin for a bid for the club. In a statement, the Ricketts family said they would share further details “in due course.”
“The Ricketts Family, owners of the Chicago Cubs, can confirm they will be leading an investment group that will make a formal bid for Chelsea this Friday,” read the statement.
“As long-time operators of an iconic professional sports team, the Ricketts Family and their partners understand the importance of investing for success on the pitch, while respecting the traditions of the club, the fans and the community.”
Lord Coe, who head the 2012 London Olympic Games, has joined ex-Liverpool chairman Sir Martin Broughton’s bid.
“I am certain that Sir Martin is the right man to lead Chelsea Football Club into its next chapter,” said Coe in a statement. “He has an exceptional track record in British business, as well as unrivalled experience in shepherding Liverpool out of a very difficult situation.”
He added that “most importantly, like me, he is a lifelong Chelsea supporter and Shed End season ticket holder. I know that this bid is for the millions of Chelsea fans around the world. We love our club and will always put the fans first.”
British property developer Nick Candy is reportedly also lining up a bid. Former Chelsea player Gianluca Villa and his company Tifosi will serve as his advisor in the process.
“I am proud and feel very privileged to support Mr Candy’s bid to buy Chelsea Football Club,” said Vialli.
“I have met Nick Candy on a number of occasions over the last few weeks and I am fully behind his visions and commitment to make Chelsea the most globally recognised and supported club in the world, as well as maintaining the ongoing success on the pitch.”
With the deadline to submit a bid for a Chelsea takeover looming, various interested parties have emerged, including reportedly Hansjorg Wyss and Todd Boehly from Switzerland as well as Turkish billionaire Muhsin Bayrak.
Following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Abramovich announced that he was putting the “stewardship and care” of the club in the hands of the Chelsea Foundation trustees, a move perceived to be an attempt to prevent any sanctions at the time. He then announced the club was for sale but this was halted by the UK government sanctions he was trying avoid.
The London club now operate under a special licence to continue playing their fixtures but have had commercial operations capped and have had main sponsors Three and Hyundai as well as other club partners suspend their activity.
Abramovich acquired Chelsea in 2003 and ushered in the age of the super clubs. Under his ownership, the Blues have won 19 trophies.
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