Soon-to-be former Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has reportedly not yet ruled out a late Jim Ratcliffe takeover win despite Todd Boehly progressing to exclusive talks after being named the preferred Chelsea bidder.
It all seemed as though it was smooth sailing for the three consortiums that were shortlisted for the final round of talks but the current Nice owner aimed to throw the biggest curveball with his enticing and attractive £4billion plus offer that trumped his competitors.In a statement released, INEOS have announced their plans to invest in the Blues to ensure a ‘first-class squad’ for both the men’s and women’s teams, as well as continued investment in the club’s Cobham academy. The future of Stamford Bridge has been among the high-profile components of all bids thus far, with INEOS planning to make it a ‘world-class’ stadium by renovating Chelsea’s home as an ongoing project so that the team are not required to relocate elsewhere.
Their statement read: “Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Chairman of INEOS, has made a formal bid for Chelsea FC, for £4.25bn. £2.5bn is committed to the charitable trust to support victims of the war, with £1.75bn committed to invest directly into the club over the next 10 years. This is a British bid, for a British club.
“We believe that a club is bigger than its owners, who are temporary custodians of a great tradition, With a responsibility to the fans and the community. That is why we are committing to spending £1.75bn over 10 years that will be for the direct benefit of the club. We will invest in Stamford Bridge to make it a world-class stadium, befitting of Chelsea FC. This will be organic and ongoing so that we will not move away from the home of Chelsea and risk losing the support of loyal fans.
“We will continue to invest in the team to ensure we have a first-class squad of the world’s greatest players, coaches and support staff, in the men’s and women’s games. And we hope to continue to invest in the academy to provide the opportunity for talented youngsters to develop into first-class players.
“We believe that London should have a club that reflects the stature of the city. One that is held in the same regard as Real Madrid, Barcelona or Bayern Munich. We intend Chelsea to be that club. We are making this investment as fans of the beautiful game – not as a means to turn a profit. We do that with our core business. The club is rooted in its community and its fans. And it is our intention to invest in Chelsea FC for that reason. No further comment will be made from Sir Jim or INEOS during the bidding process.”
A statement that caused real excitement to a fanbase who realised that this offer was the closest thing they could get to a one-man ownership structure, just like the supporters has become accustomed to during Abramovich’s 19-year stewardship of the club. And despite the part LA Dodgers owner being selected as a preferred bidder, it appears sources close to the sanctioned oligarch don’t believe to process to be as over as some other outlets have reported.
It appears that the race to buy Chelsea is not yet completely over, or at least as clear as Todd Boehly has won. Think Jim Ratcliffe still has a decent chance personally. I don't think he goes into these things unless he thinks he has a very good chance.
Interesting days ahead! pic.twitter.com/iViAIGiq0g
— Simon Phillips (@siphillipssport) April 30, 2022
According to the Guardian, a source close to Abramovich has not completely ruled out Ratcliffe’s late bid for the Blues with the main problem in his late ploy being just how late he communicated his interest to Raine who like all the fans, are keen to get a resolution to this ever-changing and dramatic takeover saga.