Raine Group is expected to reveal its preferred bidder for Chelsea FC this week. The U.S. bank in charge of the sale has also reportedly asked each bidder to guarantee their ownership until 2032, according to Sky News.
The bank denied reports of any selection delay or additional stages for the process. While it reportedly considered narrowing down the bidders list from three to two, it has decided not to rule out any group and will go forward picking from the three bidders.
- Some outlets recently reported that Steve Pagliuca’s group would be eliminated from the running this week.
- A source close to Pagliuca denied the claims.
Pagliuca, co-owner of the Boston Celtics and Atalanta, is competing with two other bidders — a consortium led by Los Angeles Dodgers, Lakers, and Sparks part-owner Todd Boehly, and a group led by deputy chairman of International Airlines Group Sir Martin Broughton.
The latter pulled in Serena Williams and Lewis Hamilton last week to back its bid.
Current Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned earlier this year due to his ties to Vladimir Putin and will not profit from the sale. The club cannot buy new players, sell new tickets, or agree to new contracts since it is operating under a special license until it has new owners.
The U.K. government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport will license the sale of the club and is reportedly expected to agree to a deal with Abramovich in which the team’s roughly $1.9 billion debt will be written off and put into equity.