Chelsea FC is virtually guaranteed to be sold to an American sports team owner.
The bidding process for the Premier League club is down to four groups, with final bids required by April 11.
- Boston Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca is a finalist. Pagliuca is also the majority shareholder of Serie A club Atalanta and co-chairman of Bain Capital.
- Los Angeles Dodgers and Lakers co-owner Todd Boehly made the shortlist.
- Joining him are Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils co-owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer with British businessman and former Liverpool chairman Sir Martin Broughton.
- Chicago Cubs owner Thomas Ricketts remains in the running. Ricketts met with club supporters to address revelations that his father expressed Islamophobic sentiments.
Bidders have been asked to pledge at least $1.3 billion of additional investments, including renovations to the team’s Stamford Bridge stadium. Bids could reach at least $3.9 billion.
Chelsea’s liminal status is affecting its ability to make personnel moves. The team is controlled under a license issued by the U.K. government after it sanctioned previous owner Roman Abramovich and seized the club.
The sanctions seem to have prevented the acquisition of Chicago Fire goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina on a reported $6.6 million transfer deal. Chelsea is unable to negotiate new contracts with its current players.
Abramovich, who has been involved in negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, showed signs of being poisoned, as did Ukranian negotiators, according to reports from Monday. All those affected are believed to be safe.