Chelsea Football Club’s owner, Roman Abramovich, has declared his intention to sell the club.
The decision follows Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which puts the Russian Oligarch’s connection with Vladimir Putin into the spotlight.
Abramovich, who bought the Blues for £140 million in 2003, first announced on Saturday that “stewardship” of Chelsea will be handed over to six trustees of the Chelsea Charitable Foundation The transfer hit challenges and the 55-year-old’s Stamford Bridge business is for sale.
According to the Mirror, Abramovich has employed American brokers to locate a buyer for the Blues, and there will be plenty of suitors for a £3.5 billion sale.
Here are the top potential new owners of Chelsea Football Club:
1. Hansjorg Wyss
Born September 19, 1935 in Bern, Switzerland, emerged as an early frontrunner for the purchase of Chelsea football club. The 86-year-old confirmed well before Abramovich’s announcement that he had been offered the chance to invest in the club along with three other unnamed parties.
But in an interview with Blick, the Swiss who is worth £4.3billion after founding American medical device business Synthes claimed that Abramovich will have to lower his demands in order for any deal to take place.
“I have to wait four to five days now. Abramovich is currently asking far too much,” Wyss said. “You know, Chelsea owes him £2billion [it is £1.5billion]. But Chelsea has no money. That means those who buy Chelsea should compensate Abramovich.”
He said the actual selling price of the club is not known yet, but he is nursing ambitions of starting out with partners.
“I have to examine the general conditions first. But what I can already say is I’m definitely not doing something like this alone. If I buy Chelsea, then with a consortium consisting of six to seven investors,” Wyss said.
2. Sir Jim Ratcliffe
With a net worth of 16.6 billion USD (2022) according to Forbes, Ratcliffe could be a strong contender. The Englishman was born on October 18, 1952, in Failsworth.
The 69-year-old Ratcliffe, who has retained a season’s ticket at Stamford Bridge despite supporting Manchester United, has been linked with prospecting the Blues since 2019.
Ratcliffe, who has a tremendous net worth thanks to his multi-national chemicals company Ineos, said conversations between him and Chelsea took place, but that there was a major stumbling block.
“There was some early exchange but we were a significant way apart on valuations,” Ratcliffe told BBC Five Live. “The issue with Chelsea is its stadium. We are all getting older and it is a decade of your life to resolve that.”
Ratcliffe’s Premier League goals are highlighted by links to Newcastle and Leeds.
3. Todd Boehly
American billionaire, Todd Boehly, reportedly had two bids to buy Chelsea turned down in 2019 could be back in the lead to purchase the west London club.
Eldridge Industries’ co-founder, chairman, and CEO, Boehly, has a net worth of £4.72 billion.
Eldridge is a holding company with headquarters in London, New York, and Boston that has made investments in sports, media, technology, and real estate in the past.
Boehly already holds a share in the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball and the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA.
4. Conor McGregor
All the way from the ultimate fighting championship, McGregor could be the next Chelsea owner.
“I wish to explore this, Chelsea,” the UFC star tweeted, in response to a screenshot of a WhatsApp message from an unknown contact which read: “Chelsea for sale, £3bn. Let’s buy it”.
United fan McGregor, who is worth around £135million, has previously shown an interest in buying his beloved club, saying on social media last year: “Hey guys, I’m thinking about buying Manchester United! What do you think?”
5. Loutfy Mansour
Egyptian billionaire Loutfy Mansour is also interested in bidding for Chelsea, The Telegraph reports. Along with his father, Mohamed, the Mansours own Mansour Group, a massive global conglomerate of Egyptian origin that reportedly earns $6b in annual revenues, and Loutfy is the head of its investment arm, Man Capital.
Mansour is also reported to be a season ticket holder at Stamford Bridge and has experience in sports investments.