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Chelsea-supporting billionaires Candy and Reuben to submit separate takeover bids to buy club from Abramovich

6:56 PM SGT 9/3/22
Roman Abramovich Chelsea owner
The Blues are thought to have at least 10 serious buyers, and one of the potential proposals includes a plan to redevelop Stamford Bridge

Two Chelsea-supporting billionaires have emerged as potential buyers of the club from Roman Abramovich, with Jamie Reuben and Nick Candy preparing separate offers.

Candy is working with a group of American investors on a bid of up to £2.5 billion ($3.3bn), which is close to the Russian oligarch's asking price.

Candy would be keen to rebuild Stamford Bridge, too, with Abramovich's plans to do the same having been scrapped following the UK Government's withdrawal of his visa in 2018.

What is Candy's plan for Chelsea?

On the subject of an improved stadium, a spokesperson for Candy told the Telegraph: "[Mr Candy is] actively exploring a number of options.

"The club deserves a world-class stadium – and Mr Candy's unique expertise and background in real estate would be a hugely valuable asset to delivering this vision."

Candy himself added that he has spoken to "most of the parties" about the possibility of tabling a formal bid and said "we are looking at what the art of the possible is."

What about Reuben and his Newcastle links?

Reuben owns roughly 10 per cent of Newcastle in conjunction with several other parties, including the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund, having bought the club for £300m ($400m) just last year

He has been linked with a bid for Chelsea, who he grew up supporting, by business media outlet Bloomberg, but sources close to him have since played down their interest. 

That's because he would likely have to forgo his stake in the Magpies if successful.

What other bids are there?

There are a host of American billionaires who have been linked with bids for Chelsea, including Chicago Cubs chairman Thomas Ricketts, New York Jets owner Woody Johnson and Crystal Palace shareholder Josh Harris.

As revealed first by GOAL, Saudi Media have contacted Raine Group - who are running the sale on behalf of Abramovich - about their desire to buy the club.

One disadvantage of their proposal is that "politically sensitive parties" have been discouraged from making an approach.

Furthermore, there's the Swiss-American duo of Hansjorg Wyss and Todd Boehly, who are negotiating their price with Abramovich's merchant bank representatives at Raine Group.

Muhsin Bayrak, a Turkish billionaire, has been talking up his efforts to buy Chelsea, but he is unwilling to come close to Abramovich's asking price.

“We have reached a certain stage," Bayrak told Oda TV. "Our law and finance department will start talks with theirs in London on Thursday.

"That’s the way it is at this point. On Thursday, we will notify the Public Disclosure Platform (KAP). People are talking about it, we made some progress in the talks, and the world believes we have a 90% chance of completing the deal.

"Abramovich thinks the same. We didn’t give that price (£2.5bn) to the British press. Our offer is under that, I’ll at least say that.”

Although Abramovich remains keen to get a deal to sell Chelsea done, there are concerns that it could take some time to complete a transaction of this size. 

There is thought to be a soft deadline of Wednesday, March 9 for provisional bids, with Abramovich initially targeting closing a deal by March 15. However, there are fears that time scale might be over-ambitious.

The Russian oligarch is being pushed out of his ownership of Chelsea amid fears of potential sanctions from the United States, European Union (EU), or the United Kingdom. 

Any sanctions would stop him from either investing in or selling Chelsea after Russia's invasion of Ukraine has changed his standing within western countries. 

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