Saudi Media Group — run by Chelsea fan Mohamed Al Khereiji — has reportedly emerged as the club’s latest bidder.
The group has offered $3.5 billion, according to CBS Sports. Saudi Telecom Company chair Mohammed bin Khalid Al Saud is reportedly helping to fund the bid.
The Saudi Media Group is just one of many prospective buyers who have surfaced — including Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly. As of last week, one report suggested there were at least 20 bidders.
- After Russia invaded Ukraine, billionaire Russian owner Roman Abramovich tried to sell the team himself for about $4 billion. Forbes valued it at $3.2 billion.
- In a round of sanctions on Thursday, the British government seized Abramovich’s assets — including the club.
- While the sale was initially paused, The Raine Group, which is facilitating it, got approval to reopen the bids until March 18, according to multiple reports.
- But there’s a catch: Abramovich must prove he personally won’t make money from the transaction, according to The Athletic.
A sale could be finalized within four-to-six weeks, per The Athletic. In the meantime, however, the club has a license to remain operational until May 31, despite the sanctions.
Until the club is sold, it faces a complex financial situation.
The British government has seized ticket sales and merchandise revenue. And the team is also hemorrhaging sponsors: Hyundai and Three have already suspended business with Chelsea, along with its charity partner, Plan International.