After a two-month process whittled down the contenders to buy Chelsea FC to three groups, British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe appeared to throw the sale into flux with a late $5.3 billion bid.
His massive bid was actually lower than that of his competitors, according to the Times.
- On Friday, the group led by Todd Boehly entered exclusive negotiations to purchase the club.
- In addition to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Lakers, and Sparks co-owner, the consortium includes billionaire Hansjorg Wyss, who made his fortune in the medical device industry, and real estate investor Jonathan Goldstein.
- The group is in a five-day window to finalize the sale.
Boehly reportedly won’t attempt a resolution with British telecom company Three, which suspended its partnership with Chelsea in March, seeking more lucrative American sponsors instead.
America Buys In
Should Boehly gain control of the club, he will represent a tipping point for the Premier League: For the first time, more Americans than Britons will hold majority stakes in teams, by a margin of seven to six.
Boehly would join Stan Kroenke (Arsenal), John Henry and Tom Werner (Liverpool), and the Glazer family (Manchester United) in owning teams on both sides of the pond.
New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia 76ers co-owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer, who bid for Chelsea, own stakes in Crystal Palace, while 49ers Enterprises, which owns the NFL team by the same name, owns 44% of Leeds United, with an option to take 100% control of the team in 2024 for over $500 million.