Boehly, Broughton, Ricketts: Favorite deals explained as Chelsea takeover race heats up

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ith the race to buy Chelsea reduced to a shortlist by US bank Raine Group, the next owner of the European champions is becoming clearer.

The club, the Premier League and the government want a quick sale – possibly as early as the end of April.

Two of the shortlisted candidates are known in Sir Martin Broughton and Todd Boehly, and the Ricketts family are expected to join them.

Right here, standard sports examine their references in more detail.

Sir Martin Broughton Consortium

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Who are they?

Sir Martin Broughton, the former chairman of Liverpool and British Airways, has the backing of Seb Coe, who delivered the 2012 Olympics in London.

He also leads a consortium of “global funders”, according to sources close to him.

Background

Broughton is the only bidder with direct, hands-on experience at the helm of a Premier League club.

Given that the club used to be one of the biggest in world football, Liverpool, this makes him uniquely qualified for the job.

They were in crisis at the time and he is credited with guiding the Merseyside giants through the doomed ownership of Tom Hicks and George Gillet, before facilitating the sale to Fenway Sports Group. It sparked a dramatic upturn in Liverpool’s fortunes, including winning the Champions League and Premier League under Jurgen Klopp.

Broughton is highly regarded by Liverpool fans for guiding them through this perilous time.

Lord Coe is a proven winner as a two-time Olympic gold medalist. And the London Games were an event that united the country.

He has strong ties to the current Chelsea board.

Plans for Stamford Bridge

There have been no specific plans for a stadium that is long overdue for reconstruction.

Reasons for:

Broughton has arguably the best credentials of experience managing a big Premier League club – and one in crisis.

The state-controlled Royal Bank of Scotland was Liverpool’s biggest lender at the time and Broughton became the only person to lead a change of ownership at a Premier League club involving the British government.

He also pledged funds to keep Chelsea at the top and pledged to put fans at the heart of decision-making.

Reasons against:

It remains unclear where his backing is coming from, with Josh Harris and David Blitzer, who have a stake in Crystal Palace, widely believed to be part of the consortium.

They should drop their interest in Palace. This could complicate the process, which Chelsea, the Premier League and the government want to conclude quickly.

Todd Boehly Consortium

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Who are they?

LA Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly has teamed up with Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss and property developer Jonathan Goldstein.

Wyss became a household name among Chelsea fans when he revealed earlier this month that Roman Abramovich was looking to sell the club.

Goldstein is a Tottenham fan, who has been repeatedly linked with a potential takeover of fierce rivals Chelsea.

Boehly is thought to be worth around £5billion and Wyss around £4billion.

They are backed by investment firm Clearlake Capital.

Background

Boehly has had success with the Dodgers – winning the World Series in 2020.

He also has holdings in basketball teams, the LA Lakers and LA Sparks, so fits the profile desired by Chelsea, the Premier League and the government as a candidate with the experience of owning major sports teams.

Plans for Stamford Bridge

It is unclear what is planned for Stamford Bridge under its proposal.

Reasons for:

Boehly clearly has a background in sports ownership and has a long-term interest in Chelsea, having tried to buy Abramovich before.

Due diligence was done on that failed bid in 2019, meaning a deal could be done quickly.

He has the financial backing to keep Chelsea competing at the highest level, as well as trying to undertake a stadium rebuild.

Reasons against:

Property tycoon Nick Candy has branded Goldstein a Tottenham fan and that could be a problem for some supporters.

Given criticism from American owners like the Glazers and Stan Kroenke, some fans may also be wary of falling into American hands.

The Ricketts Family

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Who are they?

The Ricketts own the Chicago Cubs baseball team and were considered prime candidates when confirmation of their offer arrived.

They have the backing of US hedge fund manager Ken Griffin, who is worth around £20bn.

Background

They know sports ownership and hosted the Cubs’ first World Series in more than a century.

They have also completed the rebuilding of their Wrigley Field stadium, which they claim to have spent up to £760m on.

But they were criticized in Chicago for a perceived lack of funding in the team and a talent drain.

The news of their interest in Chelsea has not gone down well with some Cubs fans.

Plans for Stamford Bridge

Although they did not reveal their intentions for the stadium, their experience in renovations was seen as key to their bid.

The prospect of a reconstruction which could cost more than a billion pounds sterling does not scare them.

Reasons for:

They have the know-how of the Ricketts and the financial power of Griffin. It was touted as the most stable offering of all.

They also did their due diligence after initially looking to buy the club in 2018 – and that should speed up the process.

Reasons against:

A backlash from supporters over historic racist emails sent by family patriarch Joe Ricketts has cast a shadow over their candidacy.

Despite meeting Chelsea fans and speaking out against racism and Islamophobia, the Supporters’ Trust raised concerns about his ability to lead an “inclusive and successful club”.


standard Sport

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