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Monday, March 21, 2022

Chelsea sale: British- backed consortium of fans breaks silence on takeover plans after late bid

  A ‘British-backed’ consortium assembled by a number of Chelsea season ticket holders have revealed their plans for long-term investment...

 

A ‘British-backed’ consortium assembled by a number of Chelsea season ticket holders have revealed their plans for long-term investment in the Blues after reportedly joining the race to buy the club. The deadline for any bids to be submitted for the Premier League side came and went on Friday evening, with a number of parties understood to be contenders for a takeover.

Whilst the already-known parties tabled their offers , there appears to have been a late move by a group of supporters backed by London-based asset management firm Centricus according to The Times . They have apparently joined hedge- fund manager Jonathan Lourie and Bob Finch in attempting to seal a deal.

According to the reports, they made their proposal to Raine Group ahead of the deadline, with Centricus’ CEO Nizar Al-Bassam speaking in more detail about their affections for Chelsea , whilst also revealing their plans going forwards should a takeover bid be successful.

As quoted by The Times, he said: “There’s a clock ticking because the club is bleeding money at a faster rate than it should be while there’s uncertainty there.

 “I’ve had the same seats in the Tambling suite and the same seats in the West Stand for ten years. I’m worried for the staff there when I see this turmoil. We see the same people hosting us when we walk in. They’re amazing to us. We see the same people in the stands looking after us and I’m feeling for them.”

A key part to their bid appears to be the fact that the offer is spearheaded by a group of Chelsea supporters, whilst also being UK-based. Al Bassam continued:

“We’ve tried to focus on a proposal which align the ownership of the club with long-term investors with a deep history with the club. If you look at the proposal we put forward, keeping it an entirely British finance proposal is core to that.

 “There are plenty of very successful clubs financed by international investors but in this case after two decades of exceptional success by the club, the club has the fanbase with the resources to support the club to maintain that success. That’s what’s very unique about this proposal.”

In making a move to buy Chelsea, it appears that Centricus and all of the various partners have reignited their interest in the club and in the process reaffirmed their commitment to considerable long-term investment at Stamford Bridge. He said:

We’ve looked at the club in the past. There have been occasions where there were rumours of the club being available but ultimately all those projects were shelved. Our bid is all domestic, we don’t have any foreign investors so we’re using domestic capital which I think is quite noteworthy. We all attend the matches with our kids.

“I don’t think any of us are coming purely because we’re fans or purely because we love football. It’s really driven by the commercial opportunities. But it is a long-term investment. For us, you simply can’t buy a club and expect to sell it in five or ten years. The expectations from the fans, the regulators, be it the FA or Premier League or from the Government, would be not to have a sale of this club in the next five or ten years.

“So this would have to be a very, very long-term commitment. The commitment just around either a stadium expansion or a new stadium is a half- decade commitment and that needs to be done in consultation with the community, the council and with fans.”

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