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Chelsea Bid Gets Backing From Serena Williams, Lewis Hamilton

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Front Office Sports Today

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Final bids for Chelsea FC were submitted last week — and now two of the world’s top athletes are entering the mix.

According to Sky Sports, 23-time Grand Slam singles champion Serena Williams and seven-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton have joined Sir Martin Broughton’s consortium, agreeing to invest roughly $13 million each should the group win the bid. The team could fetch around $4 billion.

Reports suggest that private-equity billionaires Josh Harris and David Blitzer, who own and run Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment — the owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Devils — would hold the controlling stake in the bid but would need to sell their Crystal Palace shares.

Broughton’s Barriers

One of the remaining three bidders is the consortium led by Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca, who said this week that he intends to remain owner of the club for his “lifetime” if his bid is chosen.

  • Pagliuca also owns a majority stake in Atalanta and would be required to sell some of his shares, as UEFA rules block clubs controlled by a one entity from playing in the same competition. 
  • However, Pagliuca said he would look to create a partnership between the teams. 

The third consortium is led by Todd Boehly, an owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Lakers, and Sparks. He’s joined by Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss and property developer Jonathan Goldstein, with backing from Clearlake Capital.

Raine Group is expected to announce the winning bid this week.

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