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Bidding closed as deadline reached in Chelsea sale

No more offers will be considered for the Premier League club. Over 20 investment groups have placed bids to take over the London-based outfit.

Bidding closed as deadline reached in Chelsea sale

No more bids will be accepted for Chelsea FC after the club was put on the market by Roman Abramovich at the start of the month. The deadline for submiting bids for the club closed at 9pm local time tonight, Friday 18 March (5pm ET / 2PM PT). That was the limit st by the Raine Group, the US bank which has been overseeing the sale process since before Russian billionaire Abramovich was sanctioned and had his UK assets frozen. More than 20 investment groups are believed to have entered into bidding for the London-based club.

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Abramovic puts Chelsea up for sale

Two weeks after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, on 10 March, the British government hit Roman Abramovich with a series of economic sanctions for his links to Russian president Vladimir Putin. Downing Street froze all of the magnate's assets, including Chelsea FC, who now are looking for a new owner.

The first consortium to publicly announce an interest in the club and place a bid was led by Todd Boehly and Hansjörg Wyss, who have joined uo with UK property investor Jonathan Goldstein, as well as an extensive list of well-known consultants.

They face a tough battle with British property developer Nick Candy, an avid Chelsea supporter who confirmed that he was interested in making a offer, and has been joined by former player and manager Gianluca Vialli under the name: "Blue Football Consortium". Some offers came in right at the eleventh hour, in cluding one from South Korean consortium, Hana Financial Group, one of the leading candidates to take over the club.

Other bids have been placed by the Ricketts family, owners of MLS franchsie the Chicago Cubs and Woody Johnson, controlling shareholder of the New York Jets (NFL). The latter is reported to have tabled a 2,000 million pound ($2.63 billion) offer for Chelsea - a similar offer to that submited by Aethel Partners, a private equity and financial services company based in London who have announced that they have 50 million pounds ready to cover the club's inmediate financial outgoings.

However, the group with the most financial clout is Saudi Media Group. With capital exceeding a billion euros, the Saudi consortium have the backing of Mohamed Alkhereiji, another Chelsea fan whose offer of 3.2 billon dollars dwarfs the rest.

John Terry (centre) watches Chelsea's league game against Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge, 13 March 2022.
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John Terry (centre) watches Chelsea's league game against Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge, 13 March 2022.JUSTIN TALLISAFP

Coe and Terry, the voice of the people

On top of the numerous offers from foreign investment groups, two British sports legends have entered the fray. The first is Lord Sebastian Coe, legendary athlete, member of the Conservative Prty and Chelsea supporter who has joined up with former Liverpool FC chairman Sir Martin Broughton to mount their bid for Chelsea. Their offer has received backing from investment back Evolution Media Capital (EMC). "I am certain Sir Martin is the right man to lead Chelsea Football Club into its next chapter," Coe said in a statement earlier this week.

Coe is not along in his crusade to take charge of Chelsea, former Blues captain John Terry is also planning to snap up shares in his old club. The ex-Chelsea defender, along with a group of other investors, have offered 310 million dollars to claim a significative stake in the club, with the objective of giving the fans a platform to voice their views. Their consortium goes by the name "True Blue" - the same as the Madonna hit from the 80s.


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