Chelsea New Owner Favorites, 86-Year-Old Swiss Billionaire To The LA Dodgers Owner

Chelsea New Owner Favorites, 86-Year-Old Swiss Billionaire To The LA Dodgers Owner

The sale of Chelsea football club is dominating sports headlines right now, know who can be the new owner of the club and the favorites

Owner Roman Abramovich has set an asking price of £4 billion, a staggering sum of money that’s almost five times as much as when The Glazer Family acquired Manchester United for just under £800 million back in 2005.

It’s highly unlikely he’ll get anything close to that, though, especially as the British government recently imposed sanctions on him due to his connection to Vladimir Putin.

Assuming the sanctions are eventually lifted, though, a sale anywhere in the billions of pounds would represent a phenomenal return for the oligarch, who bought the club for ‘just’ £155 million 20 years ago.

Favorites To Become The New Chelsea Owner

With the deadline for bids approaching fast, here’s a look at the four top contenders for the prize of one of football’s most famous clubs.

Nick Candy + Consortium

Nick Candy ticks two important boxes for Abramovich. He has contacts which can drum up a potentially acceptable amount of money, thought to be around £2.5 billion; and he’s a Chelsea fan. The Russian owner wants the club to go to a safe pair of hands, and the odds of this happening are boosted if someone who loves the club takes over.

Another important part of Candy’s proposal would be to develop the club’s stadium Stamford Bridge. Recognized as one of the nation’s elite sporting venues, it’s ineligible for public funding, like Football Stadia Improvement fund which is run by the UK national lottery. Although boosted by some private investment recently, it still needs an upgrade if it’s to compete with the very best in the country.

Candy can’t buy the club on his own, though. He’s seeking the support of other investors, and the success of his bid will depend on who he can get on board with him.

Todd Boehly and Hansjörg Wyss + Consortium

The main rival to Nick Candy is a duo of billionaires who make for an unlikely partnership.

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Hansjörg Wyss is an 86-year-old Swiss entrepreneur who made his fortune selling medical devices. His bid partner is Todd Boehly, a US-based joint owner of the LA Dodgers, a Major League Baseball team. Why the two have decided to join forces is unclear, but reports suggest that Abramovich is ‘unsure’ of the bid: possibly because they don’t share Nick Candy’s passion for the club.

Boehly’s ownership of the Dodgers, however, suggests that he has valuable experience in running a successful sports team combined with the business acumen that he and his partner possess. It may be enough to tip the scales in their favour.

Josh Harris

Harris has form for interest in London Premier League clubs: he’s a general partner in Chelsea’s local rivals Crystal Palace, with his 18% stake making him one of the club’s three owners.

A Chelsea bid, however, would present a potential conflict of interest for the Premier League with one person owning a majority stake in two of its clubs. Despite official rules saying a person can have stakes in two teams providing both are less than 30%, it’s thought there would still be opposition to a Harris bid.

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However, it doesn’t mean that Harris can’t sell his Crystal Palace stake in order to both help fund a Chelsea move and put himself fully within ownership rules. Perhaps there’s more to this than meets the eye…

Muhsin Bayrak

The Mutki Tribe of Bitlis are one of the largest tribes in Turkey, and they have considerable assets among their members. The tribe’s leader, Muhsin Bayrak is the Chairman of AB Group Holding, which encompasses the crypto, energy and construction sectors.

Boasting an overall value of around £8 billion, the wealth is there to secure a purchase, and the company already has investments in London.

Bayrak was confident enough to say the deal had a ‘90% chance of going through’ recently, and he even claimed that he would be flying the Turkish flag in London soon.

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Sanctions On Roman Abramovich

Any official bids made by the above parties will have to be put on hold for the time being. On 10th March, the UK government announced sanctions against Abramovich, essentially freezing his UK assets, including Chelsea FC. He is banned from making any transactions on British soil for the foreseeable future, so a sale is out of the question until the authorities lift the ban.

While we may have to wait a while, one thing is inevitable: that the sale will eventually go ahead. The above bidders may find that they have more leverage than they expected, and significantly lower their offers.

Still, given that Abramovich bought the club for a fraction of its current value, it will probably mean he still walks away with a huge profit.

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