Chelsea’s bidding window CLOSES as offers are set to be whittled down to a shortlist of FOUR potential new owners… with Todd Boehly, Nick Candy, Saudi Media Group and more hoping to take over

The bidding window for Chelsea Football Club closed at 9pm on Friday with a shortlist of offers set to be finalised by the start of next week.

There has been an urgency for a quick sale given the financial pressures Chelsea have found themselves since Roman Abramovich’s sanctioning by the UK government last week.

Merchant bank the Raine Group, who are advising Chelsea with the sale, have now ended the bidding window at 5pm US time – 9pm in the UK – and will begin whittling down the offers to a shortlist of four parties.

The parties interested in bidding for Chelsea were advised to submit a detailed background report on all investors amid the growing anxieties over appropriate club ownership.

Those intent on making offers were also being asked to file comprehensive details of their motives for the club moving forward.

The west London club has not been short of suitors with consortiums led by the likes of Todd Boehly, Woody Johnson, Nick Candy and the Saudi Media Group all hoping to take over at Stamford Bridge.

With the deadline looming, reports claimed former Chelsea defender Tal Ben Haim was brokering a deal on behalf of a Gulf-based billionaire to buy his old club.

Meanwhile, just hours prior C&P Sports Limited, a South Korean sports management company based on Fulham Road, have revealed they are also preparing a bid ahead of the 9pm deadline, The Independent’s Miguel Delaney reports.


The bidding window for potential suitors hoping to buy Chelsea closed at 9pm on Friday


There has been an urgency for a quick sale following the sanctioning of Roman Abramovich



Hansjorg Wyss, Todd Boehly and Jonathan Goldstein 

The Wyss-Boehly-Goldstein consortium have been widely viewed as front-runners for the sale.

Hansjorg Wyss was the first to alert the world to the fact that Abramovich was actively looking to sell Chelsea in a remarkable interview with Swiss newspaper Blick.

The 86-year-old has since teamed up with American businessman Boehly, who is part-owner of the LA Dodgers and had a £2.2bn offer rejected by Abramovich three years ago, and Londoner Goldstein, whose American investment company Cain Hoy failed in an attempt to buy Tottenham eight years ago.


LA Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly is also leading a consortium bidding to buy Chelsea


The trio have secured funding for a bid close to £2.5bn, but it is unlikely to be the highest offer. The consortium followed the example of other bidders by adding two well-known Chelsea fans to their team, with American PR executive Barbara Charone and British journalist Daniel Finkelstein endorsing their bid.

Charone is a heavyweight within the music industry, having worked with the likes of Madonna, Rod Stewart and Depeche Mode, and has been a Chelsea season-ticket holder since 1981.

Times columnist and former Conservative government adviser Finkelstein has joined the trio is also a Chelsea supporter and reportedly  would become a non-executive director if the bid is successful.


Lord Coe and Sir Martin Broughton

Former British Airways chairman Broughton confirmed his intention to bid for Chelsea without revealing the source of funds, with Lord Coe a surprise addition to his team this week.

Broughton had a brief spell as chairman of Liverpool in 2010 when he was brought to Anfield to facilitate the sale of the club to Fenway Sports Group.

Both Broughton and Lord Coe are Chelsea supporters and Coe has links to the current regime, giving advice as a consultant to the club.

He enjoys a particularly close relationship with Blues chairman Bruce Buck, which could influence Roman Abramovich, and also boasts ties with the Government after serving first as a Conservative MP and later as a member of the House of Lords.

Lord Coe said Wednesday night that Broughton is the right man to lead Chelsea into the future.


Former British Airways chairman Broughton confirmed his intention to bid for Chelsea


Tom Ricketts and Ken Griffin 

On Wednesday, the Ricketts Family – who own the Chicago Cubs – publicly confirmed their intention to bid for Chelsea before Friday’s deadline.

Since buying the Chicago Cubs for £650million 13 years ago, the Ricketts family, including Tom, have quadrupled the value of the baseball franchise and ended a 108-year wait for a World Series title. But their investment has been prudent and in order to ensure profitability they have not splashed the cash in the manner of Abramovich at Chelsea.

They have teamed up with hedge fund manager Ken Griffin could prove crucial to their chances of success — the Republican Party donor’s current fortune is estimated to be £21bn.

But Chelsea risk compromising their Muslim players if the mega-rich Ricketts family’s attempts to buy the club from Abramovich are successful.


The Ricketts family publicly confirmed their intention to bid for the Blues on Wednesday


Head of the family Joe Ricketts was forced to apologise in 2019 after a series of leaked emails revealed the American businessman had written ‘Muslims are naturally my enemy’.

The re-emergence of those emails following confirmation of the Ricketts family’s interest has caused a backlash among sections of Chelsea supporters.

Sources close to the deal claim patriarch Joe Ricketts and son Pete are not part of the proposed Chelsea transaction.


Aethel Partners

The private equity firm lodged a £2bn bid with The Raine Group on Thursday along with a business plan designed to appeal to Chelsea supporters.

In addition to pledging £50m immediately to help the club cope with their short-term cash-flow problems, they also emphasised their determination to keep hold of manager Thomas Tuchel — who amid the uncertainty surrounding the club’s future has attracted strong interest from Manchester United — as well as a long-term plan to redevelop Stamford Bridge on its existing site.

Chelsea’s planning permission for the rebuild planned by Abramovich has elapsed, but all the potential buyers recognise that a new stadium is essential if the club is to be run as a profitable business, which they have not managed for decades.

Aethel have an HQ in London and were founded in 2014 by Portuguese businessman Ricardo Santos Silva and American Aba Schubert.


The company, whose executive chairman is Portuguese entrepreneur Ricardo Silva (pictured), are planning to make an offer that exceeds £2billion


Saudi Media Group 

The Saudi bid of £2.7bn lodged at the start of the week was one of the first to go in and is expected to be the biggest. SMG are owned by Mohamed Alkhereiji, who claims to have developed a love for Chelsea while working as an analyst for Deutsche Bank in London after studying in the capital.

Despite being the biggest media company in Saudi Arabia with annual revenues of £770million, it is clear they will require significant backing from elsewhere. The sources of that funding are unclear, although it has been claimed on the behalf that they would not benefit from any state investment.

The nature of their funding is likely to be the key to their bid given the controversy that has surrounded the Public Investment Fund’s purchase of Newcastle last year, and the potential for conflicts of interest.

The Premier League would take a close interest if SMG emerge as preferred bidders, which could derail the timetable of the takeover given they took 17 weeks to sign off on the Newcastle sale — a potential stumbling block.


Nick Candy 

Life-long Chelsea supporter and luxury property developer Nick Candy has also lodged a bid and has  teamed up with former Chelsea striker and manager Gianluca Vialli.

The British property developer has hired Vialli’s investment company, Tifosy Capital & Advisory, to prepare a formal bid of around £2.5billion for Chelsea.

Vialli said on Wednesday he was very proud and privileged to be involved in Candy’s bid and that he’d met him on several occasions in the past few weeks


British businessman Nick Candy is another tycoon in the race to replace Abramovich



C&P Sports Limited

C&P Sports Limited, a South Korean sports management company, revealed on Friday afternoon they were also preparing a bid ahead of the 9pm deadline – as reported by The Independent’s Miguel Delaney.

The organisation’s headquarters are based on Fulham Road with just one mile separating it from Stamford Bridge.

Catalina Kim, football super-agent and CEO of C&P Sports, opened up on their ambitious plans hours before the bidding window closes.

‘We are preparing our bid [for Chelsea],’ she said.

‘There has never been investment into a top tier football club made by South Korean capital before. It is time for a change.’


Catalina Kim, the company’s CEO, revealed their plan to bid for the Blues ahead of the deadline



Woody Johnson 

New York Jets owner and former US ambassador to the UK Woody Johnson is also believed to be bidding.

The American businessman reportedly launched a £2billion bid – shy of Saudi Media Group’s -but he believes he can win because of his extensive London links.

Johnson is said to be close to Donald Trump and is putting together a consortium as well.

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