Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is exploring the possibility of selling the football club that he has owned since 2003, according to British newspaper The Sunday Times.
Chelsea have hired investment bank the Raine Group as advisers on the sale, which is bound to attract interested parties from the Middle East, China and the United States.
The news comes after Abramovich recently rejected a bid for a minority stake by US private equity firm Silver Lake. The Russian oligarch is also believed to have turned down a £2billion outright offer for the club earlier this year from Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Britain’s richest man, as he is holding out for bigger bidders. Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003 for £140 million.
Abramovich denied Visa
Abramovich’s situation has become complicated in the UK after he was denied a working Visa in May. This was the result of a crackdown on wealthy Russians in the UK after tensions between London and Moscow were heightened over the Sergei and Yulia Skripal poisoning scandal.
Chelsea needs $1 billion to build a planned new stadium but the project is on hold for the time being as it is understood that Abramovich is not willing to invest heavily in a country that has denied him a Visa, according to The Sunday Times report.