Who will buy Chelsea? Potential owners after Roman Abramovich puts club up for sale

The Roman Abramovich era at Stamford Bridge is coming to an end, with the Russian billionaire announcing that he had put Chelsea up for sale on Wednesday.

After handing over stewardship of the club in the wake of Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine, and fearing sanctions from the British government, Abramovich said that selling the club was in “the best interest of the fans, employees, sponsors and partners”.

A statement from Abramovich continued: “I have instructed my team to set up a charitable foundation where all net proceeds from the sale will be donated,” “The foundation will be for the benefit of all victims of the war in Ukraine.

“This includes providing critical funds towards the urgent and immediate needs of victims, as well as supporting the long-term work of recovery.”

The oligarch has owned Chelsea since 2003.

Having developed into one of Europe’s biggest and most successful clubs, only a select coterie of the uber-rich would be able to afford the purchase of the London club

Here are some contenders who could buy Chelsea:

Hansjorg Wyss

Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss has already confirmed that he has been offered the chance to buy Chelsea.

Wyss, 86, made his fortune as the founder and president of Synthes USA, a medical device manufacturer. The company was sold to pharmaceutical giants Johnson & Johnson for $19.7 billion in 2012.

The octogenarian lives in Wyoming and is a prominent supporter and financial backer of environmental causes and progressive politics.

He told Swiss outlet Blick that he would have to join with others in a consortium to buy the club.

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“I have to wait four to five days now. Abramovich is currently asking far too much,” Wyss explained. “You know, Chelsea owe him £2billion [it is £1.5billion]. But Chelsea has no money. That means: those who buy Chelsea should compensate Abramovich.

“As of today, we don’t know the exact selling price. I can well imagine starting at Chelsea with partners. But I have to examine the general conditions first. But what I can already say: I’m definitely not doing something like this alone.

“If I buy Chelsea, then with a consortium consisting of six to seven investors.”

Todd Boehley

A potential leader of that consortium is reportedly Todd Boehly. The American has courted Chelsea before – in 2019, he had a $3 billion (£2.24 billion) offer turned down by Abramovich as he looked to add the Premier League club to a sporting portfolio already including part-ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team and Los Angeles Sparks basketball franchise.

Boehly added a stake in the LA Lakers last year and is an owner of fantasy sports behemoth DraftKings. He is the founder of private investment firm Eldridge Partners, which is involved in a broad range of industries.

“Football’s the biggest sport in the world, the passion the fans have for the sport and the teams is unparalleled,” Boehly told Bloomberg in 2019 of his interest in buying Chelsea.

“So what you are trying to build with these teams, you are really trying to a) win and b) be part of the community.

“The opportunity we had with the Dodgers was really about part-ownership with Los Angeles, how are we going to win, how are we going to drive championships and how are we going to build passion. If you look at what the Premier League offers, it’s all of those things.

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“It’s the highest quality play, it’s the best players, and you also have a media market that’s just really developing.”

Jim Ratcliffe

Founder and chairman of Ineosthe fourth-largest chemicals company in the world, Jim Ratcliffe topped The Sunday Times Rich List in 2018 and is a prominent investor in sports.

The Monaco and Hampshire-based 69-year-old purchased Swiss side FC Lausanne in 2017 and then Ligue 1 club Nice two years later, a deal that was completed shortly after Ineos took over the cycling team formerly known as Team Sky.

Ineos have since become a main partner of the Mercedes F1 team and sponsored New Zealand Rugby, but the company has been criticized for high levels of pollution and their attempts to frack for shale gas in the United Kingdom.

The Sun have reported that Ratcliffe is a Chelsea season-ticket holder, but a spokesman for Ratcliffe has since told Reuters that there is “no substance” to reports that he is considering buying the Blues from Abramovich.


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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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