There are only three bidders left for Chelsea FC. The Ricketts family, owners of the Chicago Cubs, announced its group didn’t submit a final bid on Thursday, the deadline given for the remaining groups of bidders.
Ken Griffin, the founder, CEO, and majority owner of Citadel, and Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, were part of the consortium.
While the exact reasons weren’t disclosed, the group addressed its decision in a statement, noting “unusual dynamics around the sales process.”
The decision to pull out from the running reportedly had nothing to do with the controversy that surfaced for the Ricketts family.
- Racist emails from the Ricketts’ patriarch, Joe, resurfaced with the first reports of the family’s interest in Chelsea.
- Fans had staged a protest of the family at Stamford Bridge and started a #NoToRicketts Twitter campaign.
The looming sale comes after current Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the U.K. government for his ties to Vladimir Putin.
Todd Boehly, an owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, Dodgers, and Sparks, is rumored to be the frontrunner. Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss and property developer Jonathan Goldstein are part of the group.
A group led by Sir Martin Broughton includes Dave Blitzer and Josh Harris.
Steve Pagliuca, part-owner of the Boston Celtics and Italian club Atalanta, is heading the group that includes NBA chairman Larry Tanenbaum.
A preferred bidder is expected early next week.