A takeover of Chelsea appears to have taken a huge step towards completion with preferred bidders having reportedly been set a deadline to table any final offers. The deadline for any expressions of interest in the west London club has long since passed, with a number of contenders having emerged as interested parties.
However, that list has now been cut to just a handful of consortia with Raine – the facilitators of any sale – having notified the preferred bidders that they have been handed the opportunity to progress to the next stage of negotiations. Now, a deal appears likely to be completed next month, although it is not yet clear who will purchase the club.
According to Sky News, the preferred bidders have been ‘notified’ that they have until April 11 to submit their final offers. That gives the bidders just over two weeks to formulate and table their bids for the club. It will then be at the Government’s discretion to sign-off the sale, with Roman Abramovich set to relinquish control of the reigning European champions after an almost two-decade long stewardship of the club.
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As it stands, it is reported that there are four bidders vying for a takeover. Sir Martin Broughton is apparently fronting one bid alongside Lord Sebastian Coe.
Meanwhile, there is also considerable interest in Chelsea from the USA. A consortium headed by Todd Boehly have been named as preferred bidders, whilst they compete with the Ricketts family, who too are still in contention to complete a deal.
Elsewhere, an offer was also lodged by American billionaire Stephen Pagliuca, who also purchased a controlling stake in Serie A side Atalanta only in February. UEFA regulations could see his bid scuppered unless he ceases his involvement in the Italian outfit.
Whilst there are currently four parties at the front of the pack for a takeover, that does not mean that the consortia who have already been turned away won’t reappear. It has been suggested that some could even join forces with the preferred bidders – Saudi Media Group among those having seen their initial expression of interest turned down.