Prospective owners of Chelsea Football Club are set to be thrown in at the deep end during their first full term in office, should their bids prove successful. Several groups have submitted bids to buy the west London club, including Todd Boehly, Sir Martin Broughton, Nick Candy, and the Ricketts family.
A large section of the Blues fanbase has liked Boehly’s consortium, which comprises Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss and business partner Jonathan Goldstein. The part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers – an American professional baseball side who have won three national titles in the last five years – has also lined up Chelsea fans Daniel Finkelstein and Barbara Charone as proposed non-executive directors.
After an initial bid between £2bn and £2.5bn for the west London side, Boehly improved his offer to the Raine Group amid growing competition from competitors who flirted with a fee closer to £3bn just before the deadline slammed shut on March 18. Now that the deadline has passed, Raine Group is deciding which offers they will shortlist.
Boehly’s consortium is likely to be included in the final shortlist of prospective buyers, according to the Telegraph. This is good news for Chelsea amid the club’s contract crisis emerging on the horizon.
The 46-year-old billionaire is reportedly ready to complete a swift takeover of the Blues, having proved that his consortium has the funds to take charge by April 2 — the day of Chelsea’s next Premier League clash. Therefore, Boehly, if successful, appears to be the most suitable candidate to weather the Blues 42-man contract headache.
Over 40 players at Cobham see their contracts expire at the end of next season, including Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Billy Gilmour and Harvey Vale. The futures of the quartet must be dealt with as a priority else Tuchel could lose some key players.
Marcos Alonso, Ross Barkley, Michy Batshuayi, Kenedy, Baba Rahman, Matt Miazga, Danny Drinkwater and Tiemoue Bakayoko see their contracts in west London expire in the summer of 2023. Boehly, if his bid is successful, could rake in a healthy £58.3m windfall by selling said eight players.
Jude Soonsup-Bell, Charlie Webster, Xavier Mbuyamba, Dion Rankine and Leo Castledine are also among those who see their deals expire in 2023.
Cobham prospects who sign from under-16s to become under-18s first-year scholars are often offered a two-year scholarship contract. They can only sign a maximum three-year contract once they turn 17 and are eligible for their first professional deal, so it’s always a case of youngsters not having hugely long deals until they turn 18.
I’m sure the club would have loved to have a few of these players tied up on longer-term deals before the sanctions. Academy talents like Marc Guehi, Tino Livramento, Lewis Bate, and Myles Peart-Harris all left on permanent deals in the summer due to only having 12 months on their deals and no advances in contract talks. We could be walking into repeating that same problem in the summer as the club tries to cash in before they lose that chance.
Regardless of who takes the reins off Roman Abramovich, the new Chelsea owner has an enormous job on their hands to filter through who does and doesn’t have a future at the club. And, if a takeover isn’t completed in good time ahead of this summer, then it will become growingly unlikely that the Blues recuperate a fee.
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