Lewis Hamilton and Serena Williams join bid to buy Chelsea

The duo form part of the wide-ranging consortium led by Sir Martin Broughton

Karl Matchett
Thursday 21 April 2022 14:12 BST
Sir Lewis Hamilton and Serena Williams have joined the bid to buy Chelsea FC

Lewis Hamilton and Serena Williams are two of the high-profile sportspeople each committing “millions” of pounds towards one of the three bids to buy out Chelsea.

The consortium they are reportedly involved with is that which is headed by former Liverpool chairman Sir Martin Broughton. The former British Airways chairman “believes his bid to buy Chelsea would offer the biggest immediate cash injection” into the club, PA news agency have reported.

Lord Sebastian Coe is also backing Broughton’s bid with Crystal Palace co-owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer also heavily linked with joining, with the pair reportedly set for a controlling stake if successful.

Sky News report that each of the two sports stars will pledge an estimated £10m to the cause, having both become “established investors” in different sporting areas in recent years.

Against that bid comes opposition from Boston Celtics owner Steve Pagliuca and LA Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly, while a fourth option headed up by the Ricketts family is no longer in the running after withdrawing their bid.

Hamilton, 37, is a seven-time Formula One world champion and is currently preparing for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix this weekend, where he will race with his team Mercedes. Williams, 40, has won 23 Grand Slam titles during her tennis career and was ranked WTA No1 for 319 weeks in total.

A spokesperson for Formula One star Hamilton confirmed the 37-year-old’s involvement in Broughton’s bid. “We can confirm that Lewis has joined the Sir Martin Broughton bid,” a spokesperson for Hamilton told the PA news agency.

Through Serena Ventures, her venture capital fund, Williams recently announced an investment in a British sports technology startup firm called Opensponsorship, which describes itself as an “influencer marketing agency platform”.

Williams is also already an investor in Los Angeles’ Angel City FC, who play in the NWSL in the United States.

League rules dictate Harris and Blitzer would need to offload their stake in Crystal Palace prior to becoming part owners in Chelsea, should the Broughton bid prove successful.

Other investors reported to be involved in the consortium include the Rogers family, who own the $38bn market cap Canadian media company Rogers Communications, and the owners of two Taiwanese sports teams, the Tsai family.

The club’s sale is being overseen by US bank Raine Group. Current owner Roman Abramovich cannot profit from Chelsea’s sale as a result of the sanctions placed on him by the government, but he had already vowed to write off the club’s £1.5billion debt. The club have been given a special licence to continue operating under restricted terms.

Additional reporting by PA

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