Sale of Chelsea FC: Bidders questioned long-term plans for Stamford Bridge Club | UK News

The final three bidders for Chelsea FC are being pressured to provide further details on the club’s proposed management and governance arrangements as they move closer to becoming the new owners of last season’s Champions League winners.

Sky News has learned that the remaining consortia are vying for the purchase the blues for well over £2bn were asked by sales advisers this week to confirm future spending plans and guarantee their investors’ long-term financial commitment.

An investor associated with one of the bidders said Saturday that Raine Group, which is handling the auction on behalf of the Chelsea owner Roman Abramovichshe had been pushing for more details of her vision for running the Premier League club in recent days.

The investor said Raine has made several requests for new information about the duration of the financing of Chelsea’s purchase and how important commitments related to investments and other areas of its management are being met.

All three consortia have been ordered to issue binding guarantees for at least £1bn of investment in the club’s infrastructure, its academy and women’s team.

“Raine and the club’s board appear to be focused on ensuring they select the suitor who will be Chelsea’s best manager over the long term,” the consortium member added.

“From our point of view, we welcome that.”

News of the latest requests for information came as it emerged that a California investment firm would own a majority stake in the Blues if LA Dodgers backer Todd Boehly’s bid for Chelsea is successful.

Sources said that as part of the bid made by Mr Boehly, Clearlake Capital would provide two-thirds of the money to buy Chelsea, effectively giving it a 66% economic stake in the club, albeit a class of shares with voting rights split equally would between Clearlake and the American businessman’s investor group.

Mr Boehly himself would hold a relatively small stake in Chelsea, the sources said.

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Is the party over for Chelsea?

Earlier this month Sky News reported that Clearlake would own at least 50% of Chelsea’s shares, a proposition that people claiming to be close to the consortium appeared to oppose.

The other investors in the offering, Mark Walter and Hansjörg Wyss, would also own minority interests.

Mr Boehly’s bid will be advised by Goldman Sachs and Robey Warshaw, where former Chancellor – and Chelsea fan – George Osborne, now works as a partner.

Lord Finkelstein, a Times journalist, and Barbara Charone, a prominent publicist, would also join Chelsea’s board as non-executive directors if Boehly’s bid is successful.

Over the past seven weeks, an unprecedented bidding frenzy has erupted around an English football club, with billionaire financiers, media magnates and sports team owners from several continents banding together to seize control of the Blues.

All three remaining bidders are understood to have offered Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck a permanent role.

Roman Abramovich
Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich was sanctioned

Sky News revealed earlier this week that Sir Lewis Hamilton and Serena Williams, two of the biggest sports stars in the world, promised millions of pounds to another of the bidders – a consortium led by Sir Martin Broughton, former chairman of Liverpool FC and British Airways.

Under his plans, Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (HBSE), the holding company headed by American private equity billionaires Josh Harris and Dave Blitzer, would hold a majority stake in Chelsea – although they would first have to divest their minority stake in Crystal Palace to complete a deal .

The Chelsea auction is arguably the most politically charged sporting deal in British history, dwarfing even last year’s controversial takeover of Newcastle United by a consortium led by a Saudi sovereign wealth fund.

The other remaining bid for Chelsea will be co-led by Steve Pagliuca, a private equity billionaire who owns the Boston Celtics basketball team, and National Basketball Association chairman Larry Tanenbaum.

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Sir Lewis Hamilton and Serena Williams pledge funds for Broughton bid

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Lewis Hamilton backs Chelsea bid

Her other supporters include Bob Iger, the former boss of Walt Disney.

Mr Pagliuca and Mr Tanenbaum said this week that they are committed to “lifelong ownership” of Chelsea, citing the latter’s extensive experience in property development and

Mr Tanenbaum told Sky News: “I view the opportunity to acquire this legendary football club as an incredible opportunity to invest in one of the premier teams in the most prestigious football league in the world.

“Fans want leagues and cups and the best experience in their own home stadium. Steve and I are committed to both and will deliver both.”

The Chelsea supporters’ group, which includes former Blues captain John Terry as a founder, has also backed Pagliuca-Tanenbaum’s bid.

More than 10,000 Chelsea fans have expressed interest in owning shares as part of the deal that will see Abramovich replaced as the club’s owner.

Final bids are understood to value Chelsea at more than £2.5bn, with a new owner potentially in place by the end of the season.

Chelsea FC offer
An unprecedented bidding frenzy for an English football club has erupted over the past seven weeks

A deal does not materialize until the government issues a license authorizing the sale after Mr Abramovich has been sanctioned by the government.

All three bidders are expected to be approved as part of the Premier League’s Owners and Directors test before a recommendation is issued.

The bidding group underlines how much the English Premier League has become a magnet for financiers from across the Atlantic over the past 20 years.

Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United were all taken over by US-based businessmen during this period, and a significant number of other top clubs also have American backing.

Last season’s Champions League winners were reeling from Russia’s war with Ukraine, with Mr Abramovich first proposing to place the club in the care of his foundation and then officially putting it up for sale.

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Before being sanctioned, Mr Abramovich had said he intended to write off a £1.5billion loan to the club and give the net proceeds of the sale to a new charity he would set up in favor of the victims of the war in Ukraine.

A forthcoming sale is seen as essential if Chelsea are to avert the uncertainty that the dissolution of one of the top flight’s most valuable squads would trigger.

This weekend, a spokesman for the bid led by Mr. Boehly declined to comment, while Raine could not be reached for comment.

Sale of Chelsea FC: Bidders questioned long-term plans for Stamford Bridge Club | UK News

Source link Sale of Chelsea FC: Bidders questioned long-term plans for Stamford Bridge Club | UK News

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