Chelsea offer in 2018 could offer Ricketts family boost after new bid

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The Ricketts family tabled a formal offer for Chelsea in 2018, with the due diligence from that offer likely to boost the Chicago Cubs owners’ current bid to buy the Blues.

Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts and his family confirmed their bid for Chelsea will be submitted on Friday, ahead of the Raine Group’s deadline for offers for the European and world club champions.

US hedge fund chief Ken Griffin has partnered up on the Ricketts’ bid for the Blues, the PA news agency understands.

Rival bidder Todd Boehly also saw a previous bid for Chelsea thwarted, back in 2019, and the US sports investors’ prior knowledge of the Blues’ set-up is now understood to stand in their favour.

“The Ricketts Family, owners of the Chicago Cubs, can confirm they will be leading an investment group that will make a formal bid for Chelsea Football Club this Friday,” a spokesman for the Ricketts family said.

“As long-time operators of an iconic professional sports team, the Ricketts Family and their partners understand the importance of investing for success on the pitch, while respecting the traditions of the club, the fans and the community.

“We look forward to sharing further details of our plans in due course.”

Blues owner Roman Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale on March 2, but was then sanctioned by the UK Government last week.

Downing Street claimed to have proven Abramovich’s links to Vladimir Putin amid Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine.

Abramovich’s UK assets are frozen except for Chelsea, with the Stamford Bridge club operating under special Government licence.

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The 55-year-old Russian-Israeli billionaire cannot profit from the Blues nor the club’s sale, with the Treasury overseeing the process.

Chelsea and the Government both want a quick sale, with the Blues continuing to lobby Downing Street over relaxations to the stringent terms of their current licence.

Abramovich put the Stamford Bridge club up for sale on March 2 (Adam Davy/PA)

(PA Wire)

The speed of the sale means any prospective bidders who had previous plans drawn up could steal a march on their rivals.

LA Dodgers part-owner Boehly falls into that category owing to his bid in 2019, but Cubs owners’ the Ricketts’ prior candidacy is less well known.

Experience of running top sporting organizations will also find favor in the bid process, and that will put the US trio of the Ricketts, Boehly and New York Jets owner Woody Johnson in the possible box seat.

The Ricketts family have also overseen a US$1billion renovation of much-loved Cubs stadium Wrigley Field, keeping the Chicago outfit in their traditional, neighborhood home rather than relocating out of the city.

Sources close to the Ricketts family suggested the Cubs owners are confident of being the only bidders with experience of running both a world-renowned sports franchise and also a state-of-the-art stadium rebuild.

The long-mooted rebuild of Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge stadium will be central to the next owners’ big projects, and the Ricketts family are understood to be prepared for that challenge.

The Ricketts family bought the storied Major League Baseball team the Cubs in 2009.

The Wrigley Field outfit then went on to win the World Series in 2016, for their first title since 1908.

The Cubs’ victory parade brought 5 million people together in Chicago, which was estimated as among the top 10 gatherings of people in global history.

British property tycoon Nick Candy has revealed his motivation to stop Tottenham supporter Jonathan Goldstein taking over Chelsea.

Nick Candy, centre, is among those pushing hard for a bid to buy Chelsea (Adam Davy/PA)

(PA Wire)

Candy intends to submit his bid for the Blues to Raine Group by the New York merchant bank’s Friday deadline, with interest hitting fever pitch.

All the competing bidders are putting the finishing touches to their submissions, with Boehly partnering with Swiss magnate Hansjorg Wyss and Cain International chief executive Goldstein.

Chelsea fan Candy has scotched talk of meeting with Boehly’s consortium over joining forces on a bid, with the 49-year-old insisting he does not want to see a Spurs fan in charge at Stamford Bridge.

“This is a completely unsubstantiated rumour,” a spokesperson for Candy said.

“There are no talks under way with Nick Candy and the Todd Boehly and Jonathan Goldstein consortium, not least because Mr Candy does not want a lifelong Spurs fan as part of the future ownership of Chelsea Football Club.”

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www.independent.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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