Raine Group’s shortlist concludes the bidding process as the bank announces the final four contenders to lead Chelsea takeover race
Chelsea Takeover Race: Ever since Roman Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale, there has been an obnoxious amount of interest reported in the club by a multitude of people. Raine Group had received almost 20 offers worth considering out of which, only 8 were publicly disclosed. For weeks now, Chelsea have been a subject of considerable gossip and discussion following the decision to commence its global auction. Today’s announcement of shortlisted nominees from Raine Group was long overdue as Chelsa’s fate more or less rests on those potential buyers.
The final shortlisted nominees in the Chelsea takeover race
The consortiums still involved in the £3bn race to purchase Chelsea are;
- US tycoon, Todd Boehly-led consortium – Who has backing from Swiss billionaire, Hansjörg Wyss and British business leader, Jonathan Goldstein which eventually proved to be fruitful for the group in surviving past the crucial first stage of the bidding process.
- Consortium fronted by former British Airways chairman, Sir Martin Broughton in conjunction with Lord Sebastian Coe – funded by Crystal Palace shareholders, David Blitzer and Josh Harris.
- The baseball team, Chicago Cubs owner, Ricketts family. Despite receiving heavy backlash from Chelsea fans and supporters for Joe Ricketts’ disgusting racist and anti-Muslim sentiments, the group has shockingly secured their place in the final four. The Ricketts family’s bid involves the financial muscle of Ken Griffin, who is the founder and chief executive officer of an American hedge fund, Citadel.
- Boston Celtics and Atlanta co-owner, Stephen Pagliuca, who also co-chairs private equity group, Bain Capital.
These four contenders are officially finalised as confirmed by Raine Group. However, there are reports that the possibility of a 5th bidder to join the rest 4 final bidders should not be ruled out.
Addressing the Ricketts family controversy, Tom Ricketts released a statement on Wednesday outlining his inclusivity stance in an attempt to salvage their bid for Chelsea.
“My family and I are very grateful to all the fans and supporters’ groups who took time to meet with us this week and share their passion and concerns for Chelsea Football Club. It’s clear you have nothing but the best interests of the club at heart.
“We have listened to all of your feedback – including from the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust – and are grateful that the door is still open for us to demonstrate our commitment to working with fans to protect the club’s heritage.
“It is now up to us to redouble our efforts and clearly lay out a vision for our stewardship of the club with diversity and inclusion at its heart”.
Chelsea Supporters Trust issued their statement earlier on the same day, having met with the family:
“It is essential that the new owners of the club has the confidence of the supporter base and demonstrate an understanding of the values that we stand for.
“That is why the strength of feeling towards the Ricketts family bid from Chelsea supporters cannot and must not be ignored.
“The CST are grateful to the Ricketts family for meeting with us this week. We challenged them on all of the points supporters have raised concerns about.
“However, our concerns about their ability to run an inclusive, successful club on behalf of our diverse supporter base around the world have not yet been allayed”.
On a different front, Stephen Pagliuca’s bid is likely to receive some sort of unfavourable judgment as a result of him being a part owner of the Italian football club, Atlanta. Stephen owns 55% stakes in Atlanta, which complicates his bid under the UEFA rules:
Stephen Pagliuca's bid for #cfc that was first reported by @MarkKleinmanSky would require him to dilute his 55 per cent stake in Atalanta because of the threat of both clubs being in the CL. Four shortlisted bids but still looks like a Boehly v Harris-Broughton shootout to me
— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) March 25, 2022
This concludes that the Todd Boehly-led consortium and Sir Martin Broughton’s consortium are still considered favourites to lead the race as Ricketts family and Stephen Pagliuca bids are layered with complications. For them to move past more established and controversy-free competitors like Todd Boehly and Sir Martin Broughton groups, will be a brutal, uphill slog.
Reports also suggest that the shortlisted preferred bidders will have to go through a further process of evaluation from Raine Group in order to confirm they have the financial means to keep the club operating at a level they’ve been used to under Roman Abramovich.
According to Sky News, the shortlisted candidates will be expected to agree to investing in the £1bn redevelopment plans and the squad as part of a binding commitment.
EXCLUSIVE: The four remaining contenders to buy Chelsea Football Club are being told they must commit at least £1bn to future investment in the Blues' stadium and squad as part of binding offers that will need to be submitted by the middle of April. https://t.co/xiqV43odDY
— Mark Kleinman (@MarkKleinmanSky) March 26, 2022
The final decision on who the ownership of the club should go to will be taken by the Chelsea Board – Marina Granovskaia, Bruce Buck, Eugene Tenenbaum and David Barnard. The sale process is expected to reach its completion by the end of April.
WATCH: Chelsea’s out-of-favour striker Romelu Lukaku scores twice in action-packed second half 🔥
Romelu Lukaku scores twice v Wolves: Chelsea welcomed Wolverhampton Wanderers to Stamford Bridge tonight in a contest where they were hopeful of reversing their poor run of form to guarantee themselves a Champions League berth.
Despite the Blues receiving two goal scoring opportunities in the first-half of the game, it still ended in a stalemate. However, as the second-half commenced, Romelu Lukaku stepped up to strike twice in quick succession to put Chelsea on a trajectory toward what appeared to be a deserved victory at that time.
Lukaku’s goal tally for Chelsea this season has totalled up to 14 now, causing him to become the highest goal scorer for the Blues, just a goal ahead of Kai Havertz. His performance tonight underlines his renewed confidence as he looks to be approaching the sort of form that had deserted him for most of the season.
Romelu Lukaku hadn’t scored in the Premier League since December 29th.
129 days later and he's got a brace in 3 minutes ⚽⚽ pic.twitter.com/FzZx49vvHw
— B/R Football (@brfootball) May 7, 2022
Watch how Romelu Lukaku scores twice in quick succession to give Chelsea’s scoreline an uplift:
The first goal came in response to a VAR call for a foul committed by Saiss on Romelu Lukaku as both players were caught up in a tangle on the edge of the penalty area.
Watch Lukaku’s left-footed penalty here:
The second goal was a Pulisic interception that found Lukaku who then completed the play with an emphatic low finish from the edge of the box with his weaker right foot.
Romelu Lukaku gets his brace with an assist from Christian Pulisic!
— Chelsea FC USA (@ChelseaFCinUSA) May 7, 2022
Lukaku wasn’t able to register himself on the scoresheet for Chelsea ever since the start of year 2022 – a daunting prospect for such an expensive striker – however, that record has been laid to rest today as his goals v Wolves have certainly managed to make a statement of his intent.
It’s a shame that a subpar defensive performance from his side overshadowed his monumental return to form. Chelsea were stripped to bone with comeback goals from Wolves that added misery to Chelsea’s hopes of securing a victory. The game ended in an unanticipated 2-2 draw.
After racking up underwhelming results from their recent run-ins, Chelsea are looking a lot less comfortable in the rough and tumble of Premier League’s top-four now. With the fourth-placed Arsenal and fifth-placed Tottenham breathing down Chelsea’s neck, their margin for error has now decreased to just two points, especially after having picked up only 5 points from a possible 15.
Official: Todd Boehly’s consortium signs agreement with Chelsea FC to succeed Roman Abramovich
Chelsea released an official statement in the early hours of Saturday morning confirming that the terms have been agreed with the LA Dodgers’ part-owner Todd Boehly’s consortium to complete the £4.25bn takeover of the club though the acquisition is yet to be approved by the Premier League authorities as well as the UK government.
The statement read:
‘Chelsea Football Club can confirm that terms have been agreed for a new ownership group, led by Todd Boehly, Clearlake Capital, Mark Walter and Hansjoerg Wyss, to acquire the Club’.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 7, 2022
🚨🔵 Official. Chelsea statement now confirms that “terms have been agreed for a new ownership group, led by Todd Boehly, Clearlake Capital, Mark Walter and Hansjoerg Wyss, to acquire the Club”. #CFC
It’s the end of Roman Abramovich era. pic.twitter.com/fTw5EMdd8p
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) May 7, 2022
Last week, it was revealed that Todd Boehly & Co were Raine Group’s preferred choice to succeed Roman Abramovich following which the group were given one-week window of exclusive negotiations with the club to finalise the takeover. The deal had appeared in doubt due to late interest from Sir Jim Ratcliffe, however, those fears were dissipated as the Ratcliffe bid was later dismissed on account of his inability to complete the sale process by May 31st – the date when Chelsea’s current license expires.
Although the group is fronted by Todd Boehly, private equity firm Clearlake Capital is the one providing the majority of the financial firepower to it. The consortium also includes Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss, Boehly’s fellow LA Dodgers’ owner Mark Walter and the British property developer Jonathan Goldstein.
As per Chelsea’s official statement, the £4.25bn headline sum includes the £2.5bn cost required to secure shares in Chelsea – which will go into a frozen UK bank account for the purpose of releasing 100 per cent of the proceeds to charitable causes – the remaining £1.75bn is the amount the group have committed to invest in the club’s future, covering costs regarding redevelopment projects and ensuring there are sufficient funds in place for operational use.
‘The proposed new owners will commit £1.75bn in further investment for the benefit of the Club. This includes investments in Stamford Bridge, the Academy, the Women’s Team and Kingsmeadow and continued funding for the Chelsea Foundation’.
The Clause also placed a limit on the debt the new owners can place on the club.
It also made sure the group pledged £1.75B to be invested in Chelsea's male and female teams, the academy, stadium, and the Chelsea Foundation.
Roman Abramovich secured Chelsea for at least 10yrs. pic.twitter.com/RhZ985Vuxq
— SportsDokita (Odogwu ☝️) (@Sports_Doctor2) May 7, 2022
Few final, obligatory steps remain in the official transfer of ownership of Chelsea Football Club to Todd Boehly’s consortium, one of which requires all group members to complete the Premier League Owners’ and Directors’ Test. Furthermore, Chelsea will have to apply for the amended license from the UK government that would upgrade the club’s operational capacity in addition to allowing the transaction to go ahead. The preparations are underway as the Raine Group wants the sale process to reach its completion as soon as possible.
Chelsea team news v Wolverhampton Wanderers: Four players on the injury list, including a midfield duo.
Chelsea team news v Wolverhampton Wanderers: Chelsea welcome Wolverhampton Wanderers to Stamford Bridge on Saturday where they will be looking to reverse their poor run of form to guarantee themselves a Champions League berth. There are four player absentees that have been confirmed so far by head coach, Thomas Tuchel, in today’s pre-match conference.
After racking up underwhelming results from their recent run-ins, Chelsea are looking a lot less comfortable in the rough and tumble of Premier League’s top-four now. With the fourth-placed Arsenal and fifth-placed Tottenham breathing down Chelsea’s neck, their margin for error has now decreased to just three points, especially after having picked up only 4 points from a possible 12.
Chelsea team news v Wolverhampton Wanderers: The central midfield duo N’Golo Kante and Jorginho are ruled out of action for tomorrow’s clash as reported by Thomas Tuchel at a press briefing today.
Additionally, the long-term absentees Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ben Chilwell also remain restricted to the sidelines, despite returning to light training.
— Absolute Chelsea (@AbsoluteChelsea) May 6, 2022
N’Golo Kante had sustained a knock in the game against Manchester United, consequently missing last weekend’s trip to Everton where his fellow midfielder Jorginho was taken off the pitch at interval.
‘For N’Golo it comes too early. Jorginho is out as well, these two are missing. Callum and Ben Chilwell are still out,’ said the Blues boss.
The duo’s unavailability will give way to introducing Kovačić and most likely RLC in their stead as the latter is currently enjoying an upturn in form.
Mateo Kovačić returned to action as a half-time substitute last weekend after missing a couple games on account of nursing an ankle injury. He stands the highest chance of featuring a start in tomorrow’s game v Wolves.
There is a growing feeling that Tuchel might give Romelu Lukaku a start tomorrow, considering his substitute Kai Havertz is also struggling to find the form that has recently deserted him.
Thomas Tuchel has expressed optimism regarding Lukaku’s reaction in training this week. The Blues boss said;
‘I want him to be an important part of the squad, right now he is very important. There is no recruitment and no players are about to leave because it’s simply not possible,’
‘We need to adapt all the time, to contractual situations and also individual situations, to what we and the players want.
‘We signed a big player, he is a big player. He didn’t come on [at Everton] as we had only three changes, and unfortunately we used one at half-time with Jorginho. Otherwise there was a huge chance we had the same changes as against West Ham, with Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech,’
‘He trained very well, maybe he starts tomorrow, we’ll see.’
🗣️ "Maybe starts tomorrow, let's see." 👀
Thomas Tuchel says he wants Romelu Lukaku to be an important part of the squad next season and discusses why he wasn't played against Everton 🔵 pic.twitter.com/n8Lf0sEvRP
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) May 6, 2022