Chelsea takeover: Trust grows within Ricketts family with UK talks planned


he Ricketts family are increasingly convinced that they will be shortlisted in the race to buy Chelsea.

The Chicago Cubs owners are continuing their bid to succeed Roman Abramovich and plan to travel to the UK to meet with fans and Chelsea Pitch Owners PLC to outline their vision for the club.

Tom Ricketts spoke to Chelsea and Fulham MP Greg Hands on Monday to talk more about the family’s intentions should their bid be successful.

This was despite US investment bank Raine Group still deliberating over what proposals to put forward for the next stage of the sale.

The Ricketts family is backed by hedge fund manager Ken Griffin, who is worth around £20billion.

Their bid was seen as one of the first before last Friday’s deadline, due to their experience leading a major sports team, their financial muscle and their recent success in redesigning the Cubs’ stadium. Wrigley Field.

They intend to rebuild Stamford Bridge if they take over and believe they are the most qualified of all contenders to complete a project that even Abramovich has opposed.

Bidders expected to start hearing on Monday whether they had been shortlisted – if not, within 48 hours.

Despite the Friday deadline, there were still developments over the weekend and early in the week.

London-based global investment firm Centricus confirmed on Monday that it had submitted an offer.

Meanwhile, Nick Candy has submitted an increased bid worth a “significant” amount of over £2billion.

The British property tycoon submitted a formal bid before Friday’s 9pm deadline. But he has now improved on that after finding a new investor for his Blue Football Consortium

Proof of additional funds was sent to Raine.

Candy’s consortium already had the backing of Hana Financial Group and South Korea’s C&P Sports Group.

Its latest investor was only described as a “big Korean financial push”.

Candy said: “This remains a unique opportunity to bring football back to the fans and put them at the heart of Chelsea Football Club’s operations and strategy.

“We are committed to preserving the club’s incredible heritage and promoting community involvement, and we can provide the financial stability to ensure the club’s future growth on the world stage.”

Raine said a narrow field of two or three suitors will be decided within the next 48 hours.

A flurry of official bids arrived in time for Friday’s deadline, with the Ricketts family, Todd Boehly, Sir Martin Broughton, Woody Johnson, Candy and Saudi Media all vying to take control.

standard sports understands that candidates with experience of owning sports teams would be the preferred option – but that did not rule out other bidders.

Chelsea, the Premier League and the government all want a quick sale and Raine has been working on the deals over the weekend.

The potential owners finalized their proposals with offers of greater fan involvement and the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge as key to their attempts to convince Raine to pass on their offers to the next stage.

Boehly, which partly owns the LA Dodgers, has put together a consortium that includes Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss and real estate developer Jonathan Goldstein. He was among the favorites from the start of the process.

Broughton – the former chairman of Liverpool and British Airways – has also emerged as a strong contender, linking up with Seb Coe.

standard Sport

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