According to reports, the Saudi Media Group and Woody Johnson, the owner of the New York Jets, have been informed that they are not on the final shortlist for the sale of Chelsea Football Club.
Roman Abramovich, a Russian businessman, revealed his intention to sell the club just days before the UK government sanctioned him for his ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Despite the sanctions imposed on Abramovich, he recruited US bank The Raine Group to oversee the process, and they have been able to keep it going and are about to name three final offers.
The Saudi Media Group is reportedly ‘disappointed not to have made it through’ to the final shortlist, according to Goal, while Jets owner Johnson is reportedly not on the list.
They go on to say that SMG is ‘ready to support other consortiums that are chosen,’ implying that Chelsea’s denial by the Raine Group was due to a need for a quick sale.
Saudi Media generates an estimated £770 million per year, requiring the need for outside financing.
Mohamed Alkhereiji, a lifelong Chelsea supporter who led a private Saudi group, is thought to have made a £2.7 billion offer.
Unlike Newcastle United’s owner, the Public Investment Fund, the Saudi Media Group is not directly controlled by Saudi Arabia (PIF). Khalid Al Saud, on the other hand, is the chairman of the Saudi Telecom Company, a state-owned company in which the PIF owned shares.
Chelsea has been hit really hard by the sanctions, as they are currently unable to sign players, accept new contracts, sell match day tickets, or increase their away day travel budget over £20,000, with the club given a special license to continue their desperate search for new ownership.
The company managed by Sir Martin Broughton and Lord Coe, which is expected to be significantly financed by current Crystal Palace shareholders Josh Harris and David Blitzer, is expected to be shortlisted.
Nick Candy’s company is still aiming to make the final three or four, while Centricus, a syndicate of Chelsea season ticket holders, is also hoping to make the cut.
According to Sky News, both New York Jets owner Woody Johnson’s and Turkish investor Muhsin Barak’s offers to buy the Stamford Bridge club from Abramovich were rejected.
According to that story, Aethel Partners’ offer will also be rejected. Raine’s bidders will be given until the end of April to reach an agreement.
The club will continue to operate despite the uncertainty surrounding them, and this week’s news that they will be allowed to sell tickets for their FA Cup semi-final against Crystal Palace as well as their Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid has given them hope.
As part of the license granted to them following the freezing of Abramovich’s assets, they are still banned from selling tickets to home games.
The sale will be completed by the end of the summer to avoid the squad being divided.
When the time comes for the new owners to take over, both the Premier League and the government will have to give their approval.