Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s offer to buy Chelsea was “rejected out of hand”, but he remains interested in buying the club.
The 69-year-old – who is the CEO of Ineos Group Ltd and widely believed to be Britain’s richest person – tabled a last-minute £4.25billion bid on Friday to buy the Blues .
However, it is understood that Ratcliffe has not committed to the process set out by the Raine group, making it difficult to review his offer.
A consortium led by American businessman Todd Boehly has been named as the preferred bidder by the Raine Group and they have until the end of this week to finalize the terms of a deal to buy the club.
This offer is currently being reviewed by the Premier League to see if it passes the test of their owners and administrators.
Ineos director Tom Crotty told Bloomberg on Wednesday: “We were dismissed out of hand by Raine, but we will continue to remind people that we are still here.”
Two other parties also remain interested in taking over the club: one led by Sir Martin Broughton, the former chairman of Liverpool and British Airways, which includes billionaire Crystal Palace shareholders Dave Blitzer and Josh Harris and another led by Stephen Pagliuca, co-owner of the Boston Celtics of the NBA and Atalanta of Serie A.
The latter were, however, informed that they were not the preferred bidder before the Boehly consortium was favoured.
What if Chelsea aren’t sold by the end of the month?
Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol:
“Strictly speaking, Chelsea should have stopped playing and trading on March 10 when their owner was sanctioned. They only stayed in business because they received a special license from the government.
“The license expires on May 31, so you can safely say the club could close unless they have new owners by the end of this month.
“But the government is highly unlikely to actually shut down the club and despite what may be said privately, they would almost certainly extend the licence.
“It would still cause a lot of problems, especially as the Premier League meets on June 8 to make up the new season and there would be question marks over Chelsea’s future if Roman Abramovich is still in charge.”