Chelsea has been in the news non-stop ever since Russia made the decision to invade Ukraine. The Blues found themselves at the center of the conflict, at least as far as the media is concerned, despite being one of the least important aspects of the heinous war. Chelsea’s Russian owner, Roman Abramovich, immediately became subject to scrutiny from governments across Europe, the United Kingdom at the forefront of it all. The United Kingdom’s government has now sanctioned the oligarch and the club has consequently suffered for over a week.
Day-to-day operations cannot resume under regular circumstances until the club finds a new owner. Abramovich officially announced he would be selling the club ahead of the game against Luton Town and Chelsea has been working to find a buyer ever since. The Raine Group (New York) has been tasked with handling the sale by the club and the English government. The capital market company set last Friday as the last day for any seriously interested parties to submit their bids in hopes it would expedite the process. As reports continue to trickle in about potential new owners, the Blues have been given good news about the takeover’s timeline.
Chelsea has been given positive news regarding timeline for completed takeover
Time is of the essence in this process given what’s on the line. It’s been made clear by many around the club that Chelsea cannot survive more than a few months with the current sanctions in place. Therefore, the process of a new owner coming in and taking over will have to be done in record time by all involved parties.
This does not mean the process becomes any less complicated though. The lucky winner will have to go through a series of tests. First, the government will assess the new potential owner(s) to ensure there is no political issue with the takeover. The Premier League will then have its say as the individuals that hope to purchase the club undergo the Owners’ and Directors’ test. Only after both processes are complete will the Blues be given the green light to proceed with the takeover and hopefully, return to business as usual.
Mark Kleinman of Sky News reported on Monday that The Raine Group has indicated to the UK government that it intends to have a new deal signed, sealed and delivered by the end of April. This would be music to Chelsea’s ears as this means the process would be completed in about six weeks, an insanely quick turnaround for such a complex matter. The Raine Group has done an excellent job thus far as it essentially required serious bidders to turn in extra documentation by the deadline in order to skip a few steps. There is a growing sense that it will have narrowed down the list to two or three serious bidders sometime early in the week, according to Matt Law.
It’s important that this deal gets pushed through as soon as possible to ensure the Blues have enough time to do business before the end of the campaign. There are a number of players (Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger) who are currently set to leave for free due to the fact their contracts expire in the summer and the club currently cannot re-sign them. Further, Chelsea will need to continue to mold the squad to manager Thomas Tuchel’s liking as the German has helped guide it through this unprecedented time with a lot of success.
There is no telling who the new owner will be, but there are some candidates who have stood out above the rest thus far, for one reason or another. The Todd Boehly-led consortium, the Ricketts family and Nick Candy are amongst those who have been very open about their desires to purchase the Blues in recent weeks. The supporters have their clear favorites, and they will hopefully learn by the end of next month who their beloved Chelsea’s next owner will be.