March 25, 2022
(Reuters) -A consortium led by former British Airways Chairman Martin Broughton has been included on the shortlist to buy English Premier League side Chelsea, a spokesperson for the group said on Friday.
The group led by Broughton, who is also a former chairman of Liverpool Football Club, includes World Athletics President Sebastian Coe and wealthy investors from around the world, who the group says all want to maintain Chelsea’s top status.
Chelsea was put up for sale by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He said proceeds from the sale would go to charity.
Abramovich was sanctioned by Britain this month, so the winning bidder for Chelsea would need to be greenlighted by the government.
The shortlist to buy the club also includes Todd Boehly, Hansjorg Wyss and Jonathan Goldstein.
Other bidders are expecting to hear back from U.S. bank Raine Group, which is overseeing the sale, on whether they had made the narrowed shortlist. Bid revisions had slowed the process.
Another group, Saudi Media, failed to make the shortlist, an advisor to the group told Reuters on Thursday, while Sky News had reported that other bidders including Woody Johnson, owner of the New York Jets, had also been eliminated.
Hedge fund Elliott Management, which owns Italian side AC Milan, has joined the Nick Candy-led Blue Football consortium as a “minor investor” in their bid for Chelsea, sources close to the bid said.
London-based global investment firm Centricus also said they had offered to buy Chelsea, a move driven by co-founder Nizar Al-Bassam and CEO Garth Ritchie, who are reported to be season-ticket holders.
Chelsea are currently operating under a special license, which the British government amended this week to allow fans to buy tickets to away games, Cup games and women’s fixtures.
The club will not receive revenue from ticket sales, with all proceeds going to relevant competition organisers.
(Reporting by Peter Hall; Writing by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Edmund Blair and Angus MacSwan)