Ricketts-Led Consortium Withdrawals to Buy Chelsea

21 Apr 2022 | 08:54 | Football

The Ricketts-led consortium announced on Friday that it has withdrawn its offer to buy Premier League club Chelsea, which is being sold by owner Roman Abramovich. The Chicago Cubs owners and their partners chose not to submit a final bid to the Blues, with the consortium members understood to be unable to agree on the final composition of their offer. Cubs owners Tom and Laura Ricketts have teamed up with US billionaires Ken Griffin and Dan Gilbert in a cash-only bid to acquire The Blues.

The final bids were due to be submitted to the New York commercial bank, The Raine Group on Thursday, but the Ricketts-led group has now withdrawn its candidacy.

“The Ricketts-Griffin-Gilbert team has decided, after careful consideration, not to make a final bid for Chelsea FC,” read a statement from the Ricketts family.

“As the proposal was finalised, it became increasingly clear that certain issues could not be resolved due to unusual dynamics around the sales process.

“We have great admiration for Chelsea and the fans and we wish the new owners well.”

The Ricketts bid for Chelsea was met with resistance from Blues supporters over historic emails from patriarch Joe Ricketts.

Joe Ricketts, who was not part of the family’s bid for the London club, was accused of fearing Islam in 2019 after emails were leaked.

He later apologized for his comments, and the family said in a statement last month that it “denies all forms of hatred in the strongest possible terms”.

Fans held a small protest at Stamford Bridge but reports said the controversy did not play any part in the withdrawal of Ricketts’ offer.

Russian billionaire Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale on 2 March after Russia invaded Ukraine and was subsequently the target of UK sanctions.

Chelsea has been granted a special license by the government to continue operating, albeit on strict terms.

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Abramovich was unable to profit from the sale of Chelsea, but has vowed to write off the club’s £1.5 billion ($2 billion) debt.

The Ricketts’ withdrawal leaves LA Dodgers owner Todd Boehly, Martin Broughton and Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca as the remaining Chelsea bidders.

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