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Thursday, April 7, 2022

Potential owners receive emotional Chelsea transfer message as new owner deadline approaches

  Brian Wolff has been one of the leading supporter voices over the past month as Chelsea's future has been plunged into uncertainty....

 

Brian Wolff has been one of the leading supporter voices over the past month as Chelsea's future has been plunged into uncertainty.

 As head of Chelsea's Chicago Supporters Club and Chelsea Fans' Forum Overseas Representative, Wolff first released a statement on the 21st of March in opposition to reports of The Ricketts Family being one of the interested parties.

Last Sunday he challenged Raine Group, the investment bank overseeing the sale, to offer more transparency over the process.

On Wednesdays afternoon before Chelsea's match with Real Madrid in the Champions League at Stamford Bridge, Wolff released the results of an online poll he had been running, asking fans for their thoughts on key issues regarding who will next own the club.

"I did the poll because supporters need to be heard and consulted." Wolff tells football.london. "There’s a dangerous level of secrecy around the current bids. It won’t do anything to reassure people this is a fair and transparent process."

The results of the poll will be sent to Bruce Buck and members of the Chelsea board, titled “Supporter Opinion on the Sale of Chelsea FC.” The eight-page document is free to download and details three key findings.

Those that answered "value new owners of good character and morals prioritizing player investment. Request more transparency from bidders as part of the process, and won’t accept a decision to sell to owners conflicting with personal beliefs".

There have been concerns over the past week that The Ricketts bid in particular has gained preferential treatment after a meeting set up with Paul Cannoville came to light last week, and a statement released by The Ricketts detailed an eight-point pledge to supporters.

Strikingly Todd Boehly was in attendance for Wednesday night's game against Real Madrid, captured walking into the stadium by Sky Sports. His consortium plans to meet with the club, along with a separate meeting with Cannovile like The Ricketts had, as reported by The Telegraph .

"From the polling, supporters clearly favour an owner who will continue to invest in top players and be a reputable influence on the club, continuing to promote Club values and charities."

Wolff says. "Overwhelmingly, supporters don’t prioritize stadium redevelopment, which seems to be a foundational aspect of bids. There may be a massive disconnect there
."

There has been a consistent pattern amongst all the bidders that the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge appears a priority, with plans for a stand- by-stand reconstruction akin to that of Anfield in recent years that would eliminate the need for Chelsea to move temporarily

"Overall, supporters want more transparency and bids to release at least some level of information on how they’ll run the club. If not, there’s a large chance supporters won’t accept the new owners - the majority of poll respondents said they won’t accept Mr. Abramovich’s decision to sell to just anyone, and the replies indicated this was on grounds relating to an owner’s character and values." 

We are quickly reaching Monday's deadline for improved offers from the shortlisted bidders, where then hopefully the process can give supporters more clarity over who will next own Chelsea.

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