Chicago Cubs owners confirm bid to buy Chelsea

Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts and his family are set to spearhead a consortium bid for the Blues

Nick Purewal
Thursday 17 March 2022 12:23
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Chelsea: What next for club as Roman Abramovich hit by sanctions

Chicago Cubs owners The Ricketts Family have confirmed their bid to buy Chelsea.

Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts and his family will spearhead a consortium bid for the Stamford Bridge club, with major partnership funding understood to be in place.

New York merchant bank Raine Group has set a Friday deadline for bids, with Roman Abramovich’s 19-year tenure as Chelsea owner coming to a close.

“The Ricketts Family, owners of the Chicago Cubs, can confirm they will be leading an investment group that will make a formal bid for Chelsea Football Club this Friday,” said a spokesman for the Ricketts family.

“As long-time operators of an iconic professional sports team, the Ricketts Family and their partners understand the importance of investing for success on the pitch, while respecting the traditions of the club, the fans and the community.

“We look forward to sharing further details of our plans in due course.”

The Ricketts family bought the storied Major League Baseball team the Cubs in 2009.

The Wrigley Field outfit then went on to win the World Series in 2016, for their first title since 1908.

The Cubs’ victory parade brought five million people together in Chicago, which was estimated as among the top 10 gatherings of people in global history.

Cubs owner Tom Ricketts and his family are one of a number of bidders

Chelsea owner Abramovich put the Stamford Bridge club up for sale on March 2, in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The 55-year-old Russian-Israeli billionaire has owned Chelsea since 2003 and steered the Blues to 21 trophies in that 19-year stint.

The UK Government imposed sanctions on Abramovich last week however, claiming to have proven the Chelsea chief’s links to Russia’s president Vladimir Putin.

Abramovich has always denied links to Putin’s regime in Russia, but the Downing Street sanctions have frozen all his UK assets barring Chelsea.

The Stamford Bridge club now runs under special Government licence, with the Treasury taking oversight of the potential sale.

Abramovich cannot profit from Chelsea but had pledged to write off the club’s £1.5billion debt and divert all proceeds to a charitable foundation, before his UK sanctions came into place.

Chelsea suitor Nick Candy has revealed his motivation to stop Tottenham supporter Jonathan Goldstein taking over at the Blues.

All the competing bidders are putting the finishing touches to their submissions, with LA Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly partnering with Swiss magnate Hansjorg Wyss and Cain International CEO Goldstein.

Chelsea fan Candy has scotched talk of meeting with Boehly’s consortium over joining forces on a bid, with the 49-year-old insisting he does not want to see a Spurs supporter in charge at Stamford Bridge.

“This is a completely unsubstantiated rumour,” said a spokesperson for Candy. “There are no talks underway with Nick Candy and the Todd Boehly and Jonathan Goldstein consortium, not least because Mr Candy does not want a lifelong Spurs fan as part of the future ownership of Chelsea Football Club.”

The Saudi Media Group is also compiling an offer, with former Liverpool chairman Sir Martin Broughton another among the prospective bidders.

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