Chelsea FC are likely to attract the highest fee ever paid for a sports team when the sale of the club is finally completed in the coming weeks.
The bid deadline passed this weekend after current owner Roman Abramovich put the club up for sale before being hit with UK government sanctions – over alleged close ties to Russia and the United Kingdom. President Vladimir Putin, who ordered the invasion of Ukraine in February.
It was feared the optics of doing business with the oligarch could deter some buyers, and that Abramovich’s £4billion valuation was unlikely to translate into a quick sale needed while the asset was frozen.
However, as many as 20 interested parties have reportedly submitted bids for the club and, according to Athleticism some suitors will even raise their bids to £3billion or even £4billion, which would make it the most expensive sports team buy in history.
That sum would comfortably eclipse the current highest sum: the $3.35bn (£2.5bn) that was paid by Joseph Tsai to buy the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and arena in 2019.
The report adds that offers for the club continued to come in over the weekend despite missing the deadline on Friday, despite these not being seen as viable options.
The Ricketts family – owners of the Chicago Cubs – and a consortium involving LA Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly would be the favorites at this point. British billionaire and Chelsea fan Nick Candy has also confirmed an offer alongside a consortium.
The deal is being handled by New York-based investment bank Raine Group, which will try to narrow the number of bidders to three or four by the end of this week before improved bids are encouraged with a view to closing a deal. agreement by mid-April.
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