Ratcliffe still pursuing Chelsea offer despite rejection

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London (AFP) – British businessman Jim Ratcliffe remains interested in buying Chelsea despite the rejection of his late bid for the London club, according to a director of his petrochemical company Ineos.

Ratcliffe, who is believed to be Britain’s richest man, revealed on Friday he is presenting an offer for the Blues totaling £4.25 billion ($5.3 billion).

Of these funds, £1.75billion of investment would go into the Chelsea squad and stadium redevelopment over the next 10 years, while a further £2.5billion would go to a charitable trust to support the victims of the war in Ukraine.

However, Ratcliffe’s offer came weeks after the deadline for interested parties to submit bids to US bank Raine, which is overseeing the sale process.

The 69-year-old explored a potential offer for Chelsea in 2019 but instead bought French club Nice.

Ineos also owns Swiss club FC Lausanne, the former Team Sky cycling franchise and sponsors Formula 1 constructors’ world champion Mercedes.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich put the club up for sale on March 2 before being sanctioned the following week by the British government for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“We were dismissed out of hand by Raine, but we will continue to remind people that we are still here,” Ineos director Tom Crotty told Bloomberg on Wednesday.

The bid submitted by Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly received Raine’s preferred bidder status.

Boehly has joined forces with Dodgers co-owner Mark Walter, British businessman Jonathan Goldstein, Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss and US investment firm Clearlake Capital.

The Boehly Consortium are now in exclusive talks to try to seal the deal with time running out before a special license granted to the club to continue operating expires on May 31.

However, there are fears for the club’s future if Abramovich backs down on his original promise not to call on loans in excess of £1.5billion.

The Times reported on Tuesday that Abramovich claims the sanctions prevent him from being able to write off that debt.

Under the terms of their licence, Chelsea are currently unable to offer new contracts to existing players or sign players from other clubs.

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