The fate of English Premier League club Chelsea FC must be decided quickly, so that the club can function properly this summer and for the upcoming 2022-23 football season. It looked like ownership of the club would soon pass to one of three potential American buyers, but it has now been revealed that a huge offer worth €5billion has been submitted by the British chemicals mogul Jim Ratcliffe.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich was forced to sell the club after being sanctioned by the British government earlier this year in connection with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Abramovich has been identified as a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, which he has since denied. However, that did not stop the government from freezing his assets, including Chelsea FC.
The British Parliament agreed to allow Abramovich to sell the club so it could continue to operate. Under the sanctions, the club is currently unable to negotiate player contracts among other business deals.
Chelsea were in a state of uncertainty but now billionaire chemicals mogul Jim Ratcliffe has submitted a last-minute offer despite the deadline being believed to have been two weeks ago. The owner of the chemical company INEOS is looking to invest more in the world of sport after having already bought Nice in Ligue 1. INEOS is also a partner of the AMG-Mercedes Formula 1 team, which is probably how Lewis Hamilton ended up by personally investing in Chelsea’s offer.
According to Marca, €3bn of the total offer is supposed to be the outright payment for ownership of the London-based club. The remaining €2 billion will go into a long-term project to modernize Stamford Bridge as well as keeping the club competitive and increasing its value to be in the same league as European greats like Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
“It’s a British bid, for a British club. We will invest in Stamford Bridge to make it a world-class stadium worthy of Chelsea FC. It will be organic and continuous so that we don’t drift away from Chelsea’s home. and risk losing the support of loyal fans,” read a statement released by INEOS.
The project will be long-term, with the men’s and women’s teams as well as the academy also benefiting from the cash flow. It remains to be seen whether the offer will be accepted by the British Parliament, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson also directly involved.
Before that, LA Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly had been the favorite to buy Chelsea.