Sir Martin Broughton’s bid to buy Chelsea gains major boost

American investment specialist Michael Klein has joined the consortium a day after Lord Sebastian Coe signed up

Nick Purewal
Thursday 17 March 2022 13:51 GMT
Chelsea boss Tuchel calls out Boris Johnson over criticism of Roman Abramovich chants

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Investment banker Michael Klein has joined Sir Martin Broughton and Lord Sebastian Coe’s consortium to buy Chelsea.

Klein adds another major shot in the arm for Broughton’s candidacy for the Premier League club, with the American investment specialist’s advisory role indicating significant financial backing.

It is understood that Creative Artists Agency and Evolution Media Capital have also joined up with Broughton’s bid.

World Athletics president and London 2012 chief Coe confirmed his addition to Broughton’s bid on Wednesday, in the first major coup for the ex-Liverpool chairman.

Klein helped advise then-prime minister Gordon Brown on Britain’s banking crisis of 2008 and also advised Broughton’s rescue act at Liverpool in 2010.

Broughton took a short-term chairmanship at Liverpool to oversee the sale to current owners the Fenway Sports Group, who have ushered in prosperity and success at Anfield.

Chelsea’s sale could jump ahead quickly after Friday’s deadline for bid submissions.

New York merchant bank the Raine Group will whittle down a shortlist of preferred bidders following Friday’s deadline to make an offer.

The fast pace of the Stamford Bridge club sale means a shortlist as tight as three bids could be in place by early next week.

A strong nucleus of bidders are ready to submit their proposals, and a clutch of those suitors have already strengthened their hands significantly.

Chicago Cubs owners the Ricketts family confirmed their candidacy in a bullish statement on Wednesday, also adding influential hedge fund boss Ken Griffin to their consortium.

British property tycoon Nick Candy recruited Chelsea favourite Gianluca Vialli to his bid, with the former Italy striker and current Azzurri assistant coach sure to win favour with Blues supporters.

Vialli’s sports investment and merger company Tifosy’s expertise would also add substance to Candy’s bid.

Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly was the first to emerge as a genuine contender in the Chelsea race, with the US magnate’s consortium another to carry clout.

New York Jets owner Woody Johnson has long been mooted as lining up a bid, but has yet to make his intentions public.

Roman Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale on 2 March, amid Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine.

Roman Abramovich, pictured, will sell Chelsea after 19 years owning the Stamford Bridge club (Rebecca Naden/PA)
Roman Abramovich, pictured, will sell Chelsea after 19 years owning the Stamford Bridge club (Rebecca Naden/PA) (PA Wire)

The Russian-Israeli billionaire was then sanctioned by the Government last week, with all his UK assets frozen barring Chelsea, with the Blues allowed to operate under a strict Downing Street licence.

The Government sanctioned Abramovich after claiming to have proven his links to Vladimir Putin, but the 55-year-old has always denied those assertions.

Chelsea have been in fine form since Abramovich announced his intentions to step back from frontline ownership at Stamford Bridge.

He tried to place Chelsea in the “stewardship and care” of the club’s Chelsea Foundation trustees just as Thomas Tuchel’s side geared up for the Carabao Cup final.

Chelsea lost out 11-10 on penalties to Liverpool after one of the most exacting shoot-outs in British cup final history, and have won every match since.

Chelsea secured Champions League progression on Wednesday night (Michel Spingler/AP)
Chelsea secured Champions League progression on Wednesday night (Michel Spingler/AP) (AP)

The Blues added their fifth win on the spin with Wednesday’s 2-1 Champions League victory at Lille to progress 4-1 on aggregate and reach the quarter-finals.

Chelsea now await Friday’s last-eight draw with relish.

“I want us to be the team that nobody wants to play,” said boss Tuchel. “That is the role we see ourselves in, in this round of the last eight.

“It’s a big step to do it again and again and again, and that’s why we fight for the top four places in the toughest league maybe in the world right now.

“And we fight now in the last eight teams of the Champions League again.

“So this brings out the very best in us and we want to be the team that nobody wants to play against. So let’s see what happens.”

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