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Chelsea takeover: Ratcliffe's £4.25 billion bid rejected 'out of hand'

19:38 GMT+3 04/05/2022
Sir Jim Ratcliffe
The Todd Boehly-led consortium has emerged as the favourites to take ownership of the club from Roman Abramovich

British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe's bid to buy Chelsea for £4.25 billion ($5.3bn) has been rejected.

Ratcliffe launched a late challenge to fellow prospective owners Todd Boehly and his consortum, who have become the favourites to take control of the Stamford Bridge side.

Ratcliffe has held talks with the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust about his proposal and Bloomberg reports he is set to meet with ex-Blues player Paul Canoville, who has already given his backing to Boehly's camp.

What has been said?

Tom Crotty, a director at the Ineos Group owned by Ratcliffe, confirmed that the bank in charge of the sale of Chelsea, the Raine Group. has turned down their offer.

"We’ve been rejected out of hand by Raine, but we will keep reminding people we are still here," he told Bloomberg.

"We will continue to engage with the fanbase. We see ourselves as a fan-based bid."

Coe wants new Chelsea owners to be British

Another candidate to buy Chelsea from current owner Roman Abramovich is Sir Martin Broughton.

Lord Sebastian Coe is part of Broughton's bid and the two-time Olympic gold medallist has warned that Raine Group must be careful when choosing their preferred bidder.

He told LBC: "Fans like me want a resolution to this but they want to make sure the club lands in the right hands and that the club isn't lumbered with debt for the next 50 years.

"As someone who's been involved in sport, there is a vacuum here if we're not careful, which is going to impact on the players - it's certainly going to impact on the coaching.

"To be sitting in a stadium where you're regularly 10,000 fans down because you can't sell seats - there is a problem here.

"The rest of the decisions have to be made properly, there is a process and this is a one-off. You don't see clubs being sold in these circumstances so Government will have to be really clear what it wants out of this."

The former track and field athlete joined Broughton's camp because he believes the club should end up in British hands.

"It was British. I actually genuinely think the club should end up with British ownership," he said.

"I’m not being jingoistic – I live in a global sporting world where properties are owned, but I do think that football is different.

"I still think there is a long way that the club can still go. If you look at Chelsea relative to other big European clubs, I still think there is probably a little bit of a delta if we’re being honest about that, and I do think that wherever this ends up.

"I want to make sure that Chelsea is a stronger, and more vibrant team, and with a bigger global footprint."

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