Chelsea takeover frenzy sparks crazy £3bn bidding war – meet the billionaires scrambling in football's biggest auction

Chelsea takeover frenzy sparks crazy £3bn bidding war – meet the billionaires scrambling in football's biggest auction

March 16, 2022

CHELSEA have received a huge amount of interest since Roman Abramovich confirmed he was selling the club.

The Blues owner released a statement revealing his intention to sell just days before the UK government placed the Russian billionaire on a list of oligarchs who were to be sanctioned.

But that has not deterred billionaire tycoons from declaring their interest in the west London outfit.

And with Abramovich pricing the club at £3billion, it is set to be the most expensive football club takeover in history.

Here are the leading candidates to take over from the Russian at Stamford Bridge.

Nick Candy

Boyhood Chelsea fan and business tycoon Nick Candy is said to be ready to test Roman Abramovich's resolve by bidding £2.5billion for his boyhood club, which would include a £1.5billion redevelopment of the ageing Stamford Bridge.

The 47-year-old Londoner amassed his fortune alongside his older brother Christian as a luxury property developer, and owns several high-profile buildings around the world.

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He is thought to be putting together a super consortium to secure the takeover of the club.

Famously, he has been married to ex-Neighbours beauty Holly Valance since 2012, and they have two children together.

Boehly and Wyss

American billionaire Todd Boehly and his Swiss business partner Hansjorg Wyss reportedly made an offer to buy Chelsea last week.

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Boehly is a part-owner of the LA Dodgers baseball team, while Wyss is a billionaire businessman and donor to politically liberal and environmental causes in the United States.

They are thought to be waiting to hear back from Abramovich about their offer.

Bernard Antwi Boasiako

Bernard Antwi Boasiako launched arguably the most ambitious of the bids to buy Chelsea – but is hoping he can somehow strike gold.

The gold mine owner, radio station boss and politician is a big deal in Ghana.

But with a reported wealth of a mere £100m, that is unlikely to be enough to purchase the European champions.

Muhsin Bayrak

A Turkish billionaire who made his money as Chairman of own company AB Group Holding, which has invested in tourism, cryptocurrency and construction.

Reports have stated that Abramovich flew to Turkey earlier this month to meet Bayrak.

And he has said that he is in talks to buy the Blues, with negotiations well underway.

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Woody Johnson

Woody Johnson, owner of the New York Jets NFL team and Donald Trump pal, has been tipped as another would-be buyer.

He will be looking to bring his knowledge of American sports into the Premier League and Stamford Bridge.

Jamie Reuben

Jamie Reuben, whose dad and uncle bought a 10 per cent stake in Newcastle last year, is a Chelsea fan and would relish the chance to take ownership.

But there would be a number of complications due to his mega-rich family's interest and control at St James' Park.

Reuben Jr is pals with Boris Johnson, Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton and Jamie Redknapp and owns a swanky £65m yacht.

Saudi Media Group

Saudi Media Group have made a £2.7billion offer to buy Chelsea, according to reports.

According to CBS Sports' Ben Jacobs, the Saudi Media Group have now entered the race.

Headed by Chelsea fan Mohamed Alkhereiji, the private consortium have tabled a £2.7bn bid for the West London club.

The Saudi Media Group have no direct ties to the country's government – unlike the Public Investment Fund that purchased Newcastle earlier this season.

Thomas Ricketts and Ken Griffin

Chicago Cubs owner Thomas Ricketts is part of a consortium that has thrown its hat into the ring to buy Chelsea.

The Ricketts family, who own the Illinois-based baseball team, have linked up with billionaire hedge fund tycoon Ken Griffin to put together an investment group which will aim to take over from Roman Abramovich.

On Wednesday, a spokesman for the consortium told Sky News: "The Ricketts Family, owners of the Chicago Cubs, can confirm they will be leading an investment group that will make a formal bid for Chelsea Football Club this Friday.

"As long-time operators of an iconic professional sports team, the Ricketts Family and their partners understand the importance of investing for success on the pitch, while respecting the traditions of the club, the fans and the community.

"We look forward to sharing further details of our plans in due course."

Josh Harris

US billionaire Josh Harris already owns a portfolio of sports teams, and is a minority stakeholder in Crystal Palace.

According to the Financial Times, Chelsea are hoping to sell to either a European-based or American billionaire – favouring Harris.

The 57-year-old bought an 18 per cent stake in Crystal Palace back in 2015.

He would have to divest this in order to purchase Chelsea.

Billy Beane

Moneyball genius Billy Beane is part of a corporation eyeing up a bid.

The 59-year-old American made his name as a baseball player before turning his hand to business where he used his famous ‘Moneyball’ approach as general manager of Major League Baseball’s Oakland A’s.

He is now an executive at Oakland A's baseball team.

Javed Afridi

Javed Afridi is CEO of consumer electrics giants Haier Pakistan, and he also owns an automobile company.

The 36-year-old businessman already owns two cricket franchises – Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League, and Benoni Zalmi in the South African T20 Global League.

Michael Rubin

Michael Rubin, owner of sports merchandise group Fanatics, is said to be interested in acquiring the club.

His company Fanatics itself is claimed to be worth over £20bn – more than enough to satisfy Abramovich's sale price.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the UK's richest person in 2018, made his billions as a chemical engineer turned financier and industrialist.

Although the Ineos chief is a Manchester United fan, he does hold a season ticket at Chelsea.

He currently owns the Ligue 1 side Nice, the Ineos Grenadiers cycling team and sponsors the Mercedes F1 team.

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