Chelsea news: Shortlist of potential owners reduced as Blues suffer setback

The list of potential new Chelsea owners has reportedly been narrowed down by bankers Raine Group, with Saudi Media Group’s bid now out of the running.

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Roman Abramovich added to UK sanctions list

The shortlist of potential owners who could take over Chelsea has been reduced.

US brokers Raine have been appointed to handle the sale and have set a deadline of last Friday for all interested parties to come forward. Once that deadline has passed, they are now reviewing bids before announcing a preferred option, with some of the consortia now completely out of the running.

It comes as Chelsea rivals believe the takeover could set them back two years. And US tycoon Todd Boehly has been told he will need to reassure fans about his finances ahead of a possible takeover.

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Roman Abramovich’s time as Chelsea owner is about to end (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
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Boehly says to reassure fans

Fears have been expressed over whether Todd Boehly would be able to fund Chelsea’s efforts to remain among Europe’s top clubs.

Boehly is part of a consortium hoping to buy the Stamford Bridge company alongside Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss and Jonathan Goldstein. And the American tycoon has now been told he needs to reassure Blues fans ahead of a possible takeover, fearing the group could use a model similar to the owners of Manchester United and use a leveraged takeover of the club.

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Reduced bidders

The number of bidders hoping to become Chelsea’s next owner has been whittled down by US brokers Raine.

As part of the latest developments, Saudi Media Group would be out of the running as it could not guarantee that its purchase would materialize as soon as possible. And another offer from the Ricketts family could soon meet the same fate as the sale of the club draws ever closer.

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Recovery could take years

Chelsea’s Premier League rivals believe the club could need two years after taking over before they can once again become one of the major forces in Europe.

Sanctions imposed on Roman Abramovich by the British government have thrown the Stamford Bridge team into a state of crisis, with US brokers Raine now overseeing the sale of the club. It is said that there is a feeling that whoever arrives next will need time to adapt while budgets, transfer targets and spending may have to go back.

And there are still question marks over how the club will deal with the £1.5billion debt owed Abramovich once his departure is confirmed.

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