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Saudi bid for Chelsea out of running as sale reaches a crucial stage

New York merchant bank the Raine Group has started the process of informing the prospective buyers of Chelsea of the status on their bids.

Image: PA

THE SAUDI MEDIA Group consortium is out of the running to buy Chelsea.

The Saudi bidders have been told their offer has not been taken forward to the shortlist stage, the PA news agency understands.

New York merchant bank the Raine Group has started the process of informing the prospective buyers of Chelsea of the status on their bids.

And the Saudi offer is the first to be understood to have fallen short.

Chelsea fan Mohamed Al Khereiji fronted the Saudi consortium’s bid, but concerns over possible delays with the Premier League and UK Government will have factored into Raine’s decision.

Saudi Media insisted its offer was completely separate from the Saudi Arabia state, but the long-running issues around the Saudi takeover at Newcastle will have played a part in Raine’s consideration of the offer to buy Chelsea.

Both the Government and the Premier League will have oversight on Chelsea’s sale, in light of owner Roman Abramovich’s Downing Street sanctions.

wimbledon-2019-day-six-the-all-england-lawn-tennis-and-croquet-club Source: Mike Egerton

Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale on March 2, amid Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine.

The Russian-Israeli billionaire was then sanctioned by the UK Government on 10 March , with Downing Street claiming to have proven his links to Vladimir Putin.

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The Blues must operate under strict Government licence, with Abramovich unable to profit from Chelsea’s sale.

Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly, Chicago Cubs chief Tom Ricketts and former Liverpool chairman Sir Martin Broughton are now thought to be at the top of the pile of suitors to buy the Blues.

Broughton and Lord Sebastian Coe have a potent offering lodged, with strong financing secured and both front men proud of the submission. But the Raine Group has yet to confirm the shortlist of preferred bidders that will go through to the next stage of the sale process.

British property developer Nick Candy’s Blue Football Consortium appeared a long-shot to make the shortlist by Thursday night.

But Candy’s bid and the consortium offering from London-based global investment firm Centricus still had a chance of progression should Raine have opted for a four-strong shortlist.

The New York bank is expected to finalise that list on Friday, with both the Premier League and UK Government holding influence over the final sale.

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