As the deadline for selling Chelsea approaches, fresh bids are expected. The most recent to be confirmed is a British-funded effort led by Chelsea season-ticket holders.
According to to The Times,The London-based asset management firm, Centricus, has teamed up with hedge fund manager Jonathan Lourie of Cheyne Capital, and Talis Capital’s Bob Finch, formerly majority shareholder of FC Nordsjaelland in Denmark, to submit a bid.
Lourie, Finch and Centricus’ co-founder Nizar Al-Bassam and CEO Garth Ritchie are all long-standing season-ticket holders at Stamford Bridge and made their proposal on Friday to Raine Group, who are organising the sale of Chelsea following the UK government’s sanctioning of club owner Roman Abramovich over his links with Vladimir Putin.
Centricus has already advised FIFA and UEFA on finance issues and has access to substantial funds.
To emphasize this, they have invested a whopping £40 billion in technology, financial services, and leisure businesses.
‘We oversee £40billion assets,’ Al-Bassam said via Zoom on Sunday afternoon.
‘We’ve been focused on content for a number of years, the FIFA work, the UEFA work, is all built around our view that content is a very, very dominant aspect of technology going forward and sports is a very core, key aspect of content.’
‘There’s a clock [on finding a new owner for Chelsea] ticking because the club is bleeding money at a faster rate than it should be while there’s uncertainty there.
‘I’ve had the same seats in the Tambling suite and the same seats in the West Stand for 10 years. I’m worried for the staff there when I see this turmoil.
We see the same people hosting us when we walk in. They’re amazing to us. We see the same people in the stands looking after us and I’m feeling for them.
‘We’ve tried to focus on a proposal which align the ownership of the club with long-term investors with a deep history with the club. If you look at the proposal we put forward, keeping it an entirely British finance proposal is core to that.
‘There are plenty of very successful clubs financed by international investors but in this case after two decades of exceptional success by the club, the club has the fan base with the resources to support the club to maintain that success. That’s what’s very unique about this proposal.’