How the NBA is shaping up to take over Premier League Chelsea
Following the English club’s exit from the Champions League, more information surfaced about the Boston Celtics owner’s push for the Stamford Bridge reins.
Stephen Pagliuca issued a statement on Wednesday advising that the chairman of the National Basketball Association, Larry Tanenbaum, along with former Chelsea captain John Terry - who is part of the ‘True Blues Consortium’ of fans and former players - have joined his bid to purchase the Premier League club. This comes the day after the Blues went out of the biggest club competition in the world, the Champions League, in an epic clash with Real Madrid.
Could Boston Celtics and Chelsea create synergies?
“Larry is a world-class individual who is highly regarded in the global sports community, and his experience in sports governance,” Pagliuca stated, “his long-term perspective, and civil construction expertise are tremendous assets for our group.
“The group welcomes the endorsement and support of the True Blues Consortium, an organisation dedicated to Chelsea FC and focused on representing fan interests for the club.”
The statement also confirmed that Tanenbaum, who is owner of the Canadian company Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL), the Toronto Raptors (NBA) and Toronto FC (MLS), had become ‘co-managing partner’ of the bid.
This situation, of course, all comes about after Chelsea were hurriedly put up for sale by Roman Abramovich, after the British government imposed sanctions on him following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and his ties to President Vladimir Putin.
“I can reassure Chelsea supporters that both Steve and I are committed to supporting a championship-winning team, building a state-of-the art stadium at Stamford Bridge, investing in our academy and women’s teams,” the statement continued re Tanenbaum, as well as “making a real difference in the community.”
The Canadian added that he was “excited by the potential future for Chelsea Football Club.”
Who else is involved in the Chelsea bid?
The statement from Pagliuca said that former Disney CEO Bob Iger, Facebook Co-Founder Eduardo Saverin and businesswoman Elaine Saverin were part of their group. It is also said that Raj Ganguly of B Capital and Peter Guber, who is co-owner of the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Los Angeles Football Club are involved.
One issue over Pagliuca’s potential ownership is that he is co-chairman of Serie A club Atalanta, having acquired a 55% stake earlier this year. Given that UEFA rules aim to prohibit a conflict of interest between two clubs participating in the same competition - in this case the Champions League or Europa Cup - they cannot be directly or indirectly controlled by the same entity or managed by the same person.