Today is the deadline for parties interested in buying Chelsea to lodge their formal bids for the club.
After aggregating all of the various media stories that have emerged in the weeks since Roman Abramovich announced his intention to sell the London club, there are reportedly more than 20 suitors for the Blues.
According to the BBC, there’s more realistically likely to be between 10 to 15 offers, with each of the parties likely to bid at least £2 billion to enter the race.
As to the process of picking out a winning offer, that’s a bit cloudier. Ordinarily it would be the job of Abramovich and his advisors to cut the shortlist down to one, but the Russian is not allowed to be part of the process due to his sanctioning by the UK government.
It’s thought that a ‘preferred bidder’ will be selected by the American investment firm Raine Group, who have been selected to oversee the battle. It’s expected that ministers will also have a say, while the individual or consortium will also have to pass the laughable ‘fit and proper person’s test’….a requirement so disastrously easy to satisfy that even Idi Amin would have a shot at being a Premier League club owner.
So who is in the frame to buy Chelsea? Here’s a list of the main runners and riders:
Sir Martin Broughton
Consortium including fellow Chelsea fan Lord Coe and investor Michael Klein.
Estimated net worth: $200,000
Chelsea supporters shouldn’t be alarmed by Sir Martin Broughton’s relatively low net worth – he has fingers in many pies, and has brought on board Seb Coe (estimated net worth $50 million), Michael Klein ($1.3 billion) and a host of Wall Street backers.
Broughton is a former chairman of British Airways and Liverpool FC, overseeing the latter’s sale to the Fenway Group in 2010.
Consortium including billionaire Ken Griffin.
Estimated net worth: $2.3 Billion
The four Ricketts siblings – Thomas, Pete, Todd and Laura – are thought to have made a bid for Chelsea well in advance of the deadline. They own the Chicago Cubs baseball team and investments firm Incapital, although close ties with Donald Trump have not endeared them to everyone Stateside.
The Ricketts’ have also onboarded Ken Griffin – a hedge fund billionaire – to boost their offer.
Consortium including business tycoon Todd Boehly.
Estimated net worth: $5.1 Billion
Hansjorg Wyss, the 86-year-old, made his billions from the medical industry, and he has called upon Todd Boehly – the investor and co-owner of the LA Dodgers worth a reported $4.7 billion – to firm up his bid.
The Times news reporter, and Tory peer, Daniel Finkelstein is also part of the group – that might just turn the heads of ministers.
Estimated net worth: $2 Billion
Nick Candy is a British billionaire and Chelsea season ticket holder who regularly attends games with his wife, Holly Vallance.
While lacking the resources of some of his rival bidders, Candy might win some brownie points by bringing Blues legend Gianluca Vialli on board as an advisor.
Estimated net worth: Unknown
Going somewhat under the radar is Aethel Partners, who announced on Thursday that they had submitted their bid of an undisclosed amount.
The private equity firm is headed by entrepreneur Ricardo Santos Silva from their London headquarters, and they have promised to provide an immediate £50 million cash injection to help the club during their sanctioned woes.
While the net worth of the firm is unknown beyond their balance sheet, Silva did acquire the Moncorvo iron ore mines in 2019 – they alone are said to be valued at around $20 billion.