Buyers on high alert over possible sale of Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea FC

Investors have reportedly begun lining up on the possibility of the sale of Chelsea Football Club owned by billionaire Roman Abramovich.

According to Bloomberg, sports investors and private equity firms, including some from the U.S., have begun to draw up potential takeover offers for the London team.

The move is not unconnected to the reaction of governments around the world to the recent invasion of Ukraine by Russian President, Vladimir Putin, which includes a range of sanctions against Russia, its companies and the super-rich.

Meanwhile, British Labour MP, Chris Bryant revealed in the House of Commons that he had a leaked document of the British Home Office which alluded that Abramovich should not be allowed to be based in the UK. The document allegedly also contains cited court proceedings where the Chelsea owner conceded paying for political influence.

Bryant said Abramovich is a ‘person of interest’ to the government “due to his links to the Russian state and his public association with corrupt activity and practices”, according to SkySports

“That is nearly three years ago and yet remarkably little has been done in relation. Surely Mr Abramovich should no longer be able to own a football club in this country?”

“Surely we should be looking at seizing some of his assets including his £152m home?” Bryant added. 

A representative of Chelsea Football Club declined to comment on the current situation, while a spokesperson for the billionaire could not be reached for comment.

What you should know

Chelsea is valued at about 1.9 billion euros ($2.1 billion), according to KPMG, meaning a takeover could be one of the largest in the European game.
By comparison, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund last year bought Newcastle United FC in a deal valuing the U.K. Premier League club at 305 million pounds ($409 million).

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