Boston Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca enters Race to purchase Chelsea.
Boston Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca enters Race to purchase Chelsea.

Boston Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca enters Race to purchase Chelsea.

The 67-year-old American has made the final strong four-shortlist to buy Chelsea.

Stephen Pagliuca joins the Ricketts family, Martin Broughton and Todd Boehly, and others in a bid to take over Chelsea.

Pagliuca, 67, who also owns 55 percent of Serie A’s Atalanta and co-chairs private equity firm Bain Capital, is a serious and credible contender to buy the club, according to The Athletic.

The Ricketts family who bid were greeted with strong social media by Chelsea fans also made the shortlist. The social media out pool was a result of anti-Muslim remarks made by their year-old father Joe Ricketts. However, their partnership with hedge-fund billionaire Ken Griffin has made their offer financially attractive.

Chelsea Supporters’ Trust said on Friday that it ‘still has concerns about the ability of the Ricketts family to run an inclusive, successful club.

Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Statement – 25.3.22

Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Statement

The first and most important purpose of the CST is to represent the interests of our members, and Chelsea supporters.

It is important to clarify that the decision on who the successful bidder is will be made by Chelsea FC, Raine Group, and the UK Government. The CST has no legal role or direct say in this decision.

However, we must be prepared for all eventualities. It is essential that the new owners of the club have the confidence of the supporter base and demonstrate an understanding of the values that we stand for. That is why the strength of feeling towards the Ricketts family bid from Chelsea supporters cannot and must not be ignored.

The CST is grateful to the Ricketts family for meeting with us this week. We challenged them on all of the points supporters have raised concerns about.

However, our concerns about their ability to run an inclusive, successful club on behalf of our diverse supporter base around the world have not yet been allayed.

It is for the Ricketts family to demonstrate how they will address supporter concerns – especially with regard to inclusivity, given both past and recent statements by members of the family, and they have not yet done that. They must do so publicly and they must do so urgently. If they are unable to do this and gain the confidence of Chelsea supporters, the CST Board does not believe it would be in the best interests of our members and Chelsea supporters for their bid to succeed.

We will also survey our members in the coming week on this point.

Any new owner of Chelsea FC must demonstrate its commitment to protecting supporters and the club’s heritage as well as taking it forward for the next generation of fans. That must be done by issuing a golden share which would give supporter representatives the right to veto decisions that could impact on club heritage, such as the location of the stadium, name of the team, support for the women’s team, or joining a league such as a European Super League. We are encouraged that several bidders have indicated a willingness to do this.

The CST will continue to ensure that supporters’ voices are heard by the new owners, whoever they may be, and we anticipate further dialogue with prospective owners as the process progresses.

On behalf of the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board

 

Tom Ricketts has again promised supporters that the family will meet the standards of the supporters.

He said: “My family and I are very grateful to all the fans and supporters’ groups who took time to meet with us this week and share their passion and concerns for Chelsea Football Club. You have nothing but the best interests of the club at heart.

“We have listened to all of your feedback – including from the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust – and are grateful that the door is still open for us to demonstrate our commitment to working with fans to protect the club’s heritage.

“It is now up to us to redouble our efforts and lay out a vision for our stewardship of the club with diversity and inclusion at its heart.”