Abramovich puts Chelsea FC up for sale – report
Roman Abramovich has put Chelsea up for sale and the billionaires Hansjörg Wyss and Todd Boehly are part of a consortium trying to buy the club.
Sources have said at least one other group is preparing to make an offer this week. There is a sense that a bidding war would help Abramovich maintain some form of leverage and the first move came when Wyss, a Swiss businessman, revealed that he had been invited to join a consortium aiming to own Chelsea.
It has emerged that the 86-year-old, worth a reported £4.3bn, has partnered with Boehly, the part-owner of the LA Dodgers baseball team, who is worth an estimated £5bn. Several more investors are involved, with at least two others understood to be from the US.
Abramovich is open to offers after a hugely eventful five days in which he announced plans to relinquish the running of Chelsea and was said by the Labour MP Chris Bryant to be hastily selling UK properties to avoid potential financial sanctions.
Abramovich has loaned Chelsea £1.5bn since buying the club in 2003.
Interested parties are looking to move swiftly in case Abramovich is sanctioned by the UK government, at which point it is unlikely a sale would be permitted. Chelsea have previously always insisted the club are not for sale but have not responded to the latest reports. It is understood the US bank Raine has been tasked with trying to make a sale.
Wyss said he had been asked to join a consortium of “six or seven investors”, though he added that the current asking price was too high.
“Abramovich is trying to sell all his villas in England, he also wants to get rid of Chelsea quickly,” Wyss told a Swiss newspaper.
“I and three other people received an offer on Tuesday to buy Chelsea from Abramovich. I have to wait four to five days now. Abramovich is currently asking far too much. You know, Chelsea owe him £2bn. But Chelsea has no money. As of today, we don’t know the exact selling price.”
“I can well imagine starting at Chelsea with partners,” he said. “But I have to examine the general conditions first. But what I can already say: I’m definitely not doing something like this alone. If I buy Chelsea, then with a consortium consisting of six to seven investors.”