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AFTER almost 19 years as Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich has put the Blues up for sale.
The Russian billionaire, 55, is reportedly feeling the threat of UK Government sanctions now hanging over his head in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich is ready to sell ChelseaCredit: PA
Now, it’s believed he is ready to end his love affair with the London club he bought in 2003 – and is prepared to sell within days if he gets the right offer.
But who would be prepared to follow in Roman’s footsteps, after he created an impressive legacy winning 21 trophies, including five Premier League titles and two Champions Leagues?
Over 300 parties have reportedly ‘expressed interest’ in taking over from the Russian oligarch since he announced his desire to sell up.
Here SunSport introduces you to the credible candidates who could be looking for an investment in West London.
Net worth: £3billion
Moneyball genius Beane is part of a corporation eyeing up a bid.
The 59-year-old American made his name as a baseball player before turning his hand to business where he used his famous ‘Moneyball’ approach as general manager of Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics.
And according to ESPN, he has teamed up with US investment firm RedBird Capital Partners led by Gerry Cardinale to form RedBall Acquisition Corp.
RedBird Capital bought a 11 percent stake in Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group in March last year, but the company are reportedly keen to expand and purchase a European football team of their own.
The company is claimed to have a net worth of £3bn, just about enough to buy the Blues.
Beane is well known for his ‘Moneyball’ approach with baseball team Oakland AthleticsCredit: Getty
Net worth: £8billion
A Turkish billionaire who made his money as Chairman of own company AB Group Holding, which has invested in tourism, cryptocurrency and construction.
It’s been reported that Abramovich flew to Turkey on a private plane earlier this week to meet the 38-year-old, who appears genuine in his interest of Chelsea.
And he has said that he is in talks to buy the Blues, with negotiations well underway.
“We are in the negotiation phase for the signatures. We will fly the Turkish flag in London soon.
“We made our offer. Because of the war with Russia and Ukraine in the world. Because they find Turkey safe, they want to get most of the after-sales money in Turkey. We are planning to sign soon.”
Abramovvich reportedly flew to Turkey to meet with BayrakCredit: AB Grup Holding
Net worth: £70million
The 36-year-old businessman is CEO of consumer electrics giants Haier Pakistan, and he also owns an automobile company.
Afridi already owns two cricket franchises – Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League, and Benoni Zalmi in the South African T20 Global League.
Reports in Pakistan suggest Afridi is in the running to take over the club, with the Khaleej Times stating a meeting was held between Afridi’s team and sports and legal agency in the UK.
Negotiations are rumoured to be ongoing,
Afridi (L) already owns two cricket teams, but could expand into footballCredit: AFP
Net worth: £6billion
Rubin, owner of sports merchandise group Fanatics, is thought to have been interested in bidding for the club.
His company Fanatics itself is clamed to be worth over £20bn – more than enough to satisfy Abramovich’s £3bn demands.
ESPN claim Rubin’s interest in taking over Chelsea has cooled in recent days, although that could be subject to change.
Rubin (R) is owner of sports merchandise group FanaticsCredit: Reuters
Sir Jim Ratcliffe
Net worth: £6.33billion
The UK’s richest man in 2018, Ratcliffe’s wealth has considerably declined in recent years.
At that time he was worth £12billion and topped the Sunday Time’s Rich List, but in 2021 they reported he was down to number 25 and his fortune shrunk to £6.33bn.
Monaco-based, he made his billions as a chemical engineer turned financier and industrialist.
He is the founder, chairman and majority owner of chemical powerhouse Ineos Group.
Ineos, which employs around 19,000 people across the globe, makes fuels and lubricants, food packaging and construction materials that are a huge part of everyday life.
In 2018, Ineos had a turnover of £45bn and was valued at £35bn, but The Sunday Times valued the debt-laden business at just £10bn last year.
Ratcliffe is a lifelong Manchester United fan who was once linked to buying the club.
However, he revealed to the Times in 2019 he wouldn’t be adding them to his portfolio of organisations as “They are in quite a big pickle as a business”.
Despite following United Ratcliffe, 69, does have a season ticket at Chelsea.
Ratcliffe already has a sporting portfolio. Back in 2019, he forked out £91million for French club Nice, and owns professional cycling team Ineos Grenadiers, who as Team Sky were seven-time Tour de France winners.
Amusingly nicknamed after the James Bond villain Dr No, he also has a 257ft super yacht called Hampshire II, which cost £130million and can house 14 guests and 23 crew.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe is the richest manCredit: AP:Associated Press
The billionaire’s super-yacht, the Hampshire II, cost £130m and includes a swimming pool, helipad and room for 14 guestsCredit: YouTube / Feadship
Net worth: £4billion
The US tycoon, 46, was reportedly interested in buying Chelsea back in 2019, but his £3billion bid fell short of Abramovich’s valuation.
Boehly is the current chairman and CEO of Eldridge Industries – a private investment firm based on the East Coast.
He has German roots, as his grandparents emigrated to America.
At school he was on the wrestling team which won state tournament titles in 1990 and 1991.
So key was Boehly’s role on the team, the school named their facilities after him – calling it the Boehly Family Wrestling Room.
He already very well invested in sport, in particular, in Los Angeles.
He owns the LA Lakers and LA Dodgers, as well as the successful WNBA side LA Sparks.
Despite being incredibly busy, Boehly has plenty of time for charity work.
US tycoon Todd Boehly reportedly had an offer for Chelsea rejected in the pastCredit: Getty
Boehly is the owner of baseball side Los Angeles DodgersCredit: Corbis
He is on the board of Faces – Finding a Cure for Epilepsy and Seizures – and the Brunswick School, a private school in Connecticut.
Boehly is also involved with helping the Prostate Cancer Foundation, as well as the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption – the only non-profit charity in North America dedicated to finding permanent homes for children in foster care.
Net worth: £4billion
The oldest of the potential investors at 86-years-old, Wyss has sensationally blown the lid on Chelsea being up for sale by claiming Abramovich offered him the club.
He also revealed the value of the club is open to discussion with the club owing Abramovich £2billion.
“Abramovich is looking to sell off his mansion in England, he also wants to get out of Chelsea quickly,” he revealed.
“Me and three others received an offer to buy Chelsea on Tuesday from Abramovich. I have to wait 4-5 days now. Abramovich is asking too much right now.
“You know, Chelsea owes him £2billion, but Chelsea don’t have the money. As of today, we don’t know the exact selling price.”
Wyss is the founder of Synthes USA, the world’s largest medical device manufacturer that makes screws and clear discs for broken bones.
The majority of his wealth was made by selling his company to Johnson & Johnson for £14billion.
Hansjorg Wyss, right, is yet to dabble in the world of sportsCredit: Getty
Most recently, Forbes have called Wyss, who is yet to dabble in sport, as “one of the most philanthropic people in the world”.
Astonishingly, he has donated £89million to two universities in Zurich – the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich.
Net worth: £6billion
Perhaps would be the most controversial choice, American Ross, 81, was heavily involved with launching the idea of the badly-advised European Super League.
Previously, he created the International Champions Cup – a preseason tournament that pits the best sides around Europe against each other during the summer.
Ross made his billions as a real estate developer, and is majority owner of the Related Companies which he founded in 1972.
Two of his most famous buildings decorate New York’s skyline – the Deutsche Bank Center, where he works and resides, as well as Hudson Yards.
His investments include Hollywood exercise craze SoulCycle and luxury American fitness group Equinox.
Ross also owns NFL side Miami Dolphins and their Hard Rock Stadium, which cost him a combined £830million in 2009.
Stephen Ross was heavily involved with the launch of the European Super LeagueCredit: Reuters
Ross is co-owner of NFL giants Miami DolphinsCredit: Corbis
But it’s our football that seems to entice the Detroit, Michigan native.
Another company of Ross’s, the Relevent Sports Group, acquired the rights to broadcast the Champions League in the US.
Ross has never declared an interest in buying Chelsea in the past. But with the lure of owning a club in a competition his media company promotes, he may just be tempted into the auction.
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