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Chelsea takeover latest: Chicago Cubs owners the Ricketts family confirm they'll bid for Blues before March 18 deadline

9:19 PM SGT 16/3/22
Tom Ricketts Chicago Cubs
The consortium will make an offer for the Blues ahead of this weekend, as the club continues to reckon with the end of the Roman Abramovich era

Chicago Cubs owners, the Ricketts family, and billionaire hedge fund leader Ken Griffin have linked up to table a bid for Chelsea before the March 18 deadline.

The consortium will make a formal offer for the Blues ahead of Friday's cut-off point, as the Premier League outfit continue to field interest amid the sanctions imposed on owner Roman Abramovich's by the UK government.

What has been said?

"The Ricketts family, owners of the Chicago Cubs, can confirm they will be leading an investment group that will make a formal bid for Chelsea Football Club this Friday," the family confirmed in an original statement.

"As long-time operators of an iconic professional sports team, the Ricketts Family and their partners understand the importance of investing for success on the pitch, while respecting the traditions of the club, the fans and the community.

"We look forward to sharing further details of our plans in due course."

Who else is interested in buying Chelsea?

The Ricketts family are not the only potential buyer for Chelsea, whose sale has attracted interest from numerous other parties.

Among those are billionaire Nick Candy, who has been considered the nominal frontrunner, while MMA star Conor McGregor has been another candidate to throw his hat into the ring.

Candy issued a statement on Wednesday that he had not held contact with a rival bid from Todd Boehly, adding: "There are no talks under way with Nick Candy and the Todd Boehly and Jonathan Goldstein consortium,not least because Mr Candy does not want a lifelong Spurs fan as part of the future ownership of Chelsea Football Club."

Boehly, who owns the Los Angeles Dodgers and the LA Lakers, is part of a consortium which also includes Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss.

Turkish businessman Muhsin Bayrak, who made his £8bn ($10bn) fortune as chairman of AB Group Holding – a company which invests in tourism, cryptocurrency and construction – is said to have met with Abramovich to discuss a possible deal.

An approach from the Middle East is being spearheaded by Mohamed Alkhereiji, who runs Saudi Media and is CEO of the Engineer Holding Group parent company which was founded by his father Abdulelah Alkhereiji.

Among the others to have been linked with Chelsea are New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, while there has been talk of Moneyball mogul Billy Beane forming part of a bidding consortium.

Jayed Afridi, who owns an automobile company and is CEO of consumer electrics giants Haier Pakistan, has been mooted as another potential bidder, along with Michael Rubin – the owner of sports merchandise group Fanatics, a company worth over £20bn ($26bn).

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