Members of the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust have expressed their displeasure at the idea of the Ricketts family buying the club.
Four bidders are vying to complete a takeover of the Blues, following Roman Abramovich’s decision to sell amid British government sanctions against the Russian oligarch and his businesses.
Among the suitors are the Ricketts, co-owners of Major League Baseball team the Chicago Cubs. Their bid was mired in controversy after the father of the family, Joe Ricketts, who is not involved in the bid, described Muslims as his “enemy” in 2019.
Tom and Laura Ricketts, the siblings who lead the bid and help run the Cubs, have apologized for their father’s actions but continue to face an uproar from Chelsea fans on social media.
Ahead of a planned protest during Saturday’s game against Brentford, CST voted for the members on the offer – with just 3% of fans backing their takeover.
“At this time, it is clear that our members neither support nor have confidence in the Ricketts family’s bid for the club,” read a CSE statement.
“This reflects wider concerns expressed by broad vocal sections of Chelsea’s supporter base.
“CST’s Board of Directors is guided by our members, so we do not currently believe it is in our members’ interests for the Ricketts family’s candidacy to succeed.
“We await further public details from the Ricketts family on the concrete steps they will take to address the well-documented concerns of Chelsea supporters.
“If the Ricketts publicly lay out clear and detailed plans for how they will respond to support issues, we may be interviewing our members again next week.”
Chelsea have set April 11 as the deadline for offers to buy the club and said the Ricketts family are funding their offer entirely in cash, backed by hedge fund investor Ken Griffin.
LA Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly and British business titan Jonathan Goldstein, Sir Martin Broughton and Lord Sebastian Coe, as well as Boston Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca, are also in the running to buy the Premier League giants.
“Last week, the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust said the Ricketts family must urgently and publicly address the concerns of supporters – particularly in relation to inclusivity, given past and recent statements by family members. “, added the press release.
“We are also committed to asking our members about their confidence and support in the Ricketts family’s bid for Chelsea FC.
“Yesterday we conducted a flash survey of our members. We asked our members if, based on information in the public domain as of April 1, they were confident the Ricketts family would run an inclusive and thriving club, and asked if they supported the family’s candidacy. Ricketts.
“Our members sent a clear message in this regard: 72% of those who responded are not convinced that the Ricketts family would run an inclusive and successful club, and 5% of those surveyed believe they would.
“Similarly, 77% of members who responded do not support the Ricketts family bid for Chelsea FC and 3% of respondents are in favour.
“It is essential that the new owners of Chelsea FC have the confidence of the supporter base and demonstrate an understanding of the values we stand for.”