London (AFP) – British businessman Jim Ratcliffe remains interested in buying Chelsea despite having his late bid for the London club dismissed, according to a director of his petrochemicals company Ineos.
Ratcliffe, reportedly Britain’s richest man, revealed on Friday he was putting forward an offer for the Blues totalling £4.25 billion ($5.3 billion).
Of those funds, £1.75 billion of investment would go into the Chelsea squad and stadium redevelopment over the next 10 years, while a further £2.5 billion would be committed to a charitable trust to support victims of the war in Ukraine.
However, Ratcliffe’s offer came weeks after the deadline for interested parties to submit their bids to American bank Raine, who are overseeing the sale process.
The 69-year-old explored a potential bid for Chelsea in 2019, but instead purchased French club Nice.
Ineos also owns Swiss side FC Lausanne, the former Team Sky cycling franchise and sponsors Formula One constructors’ world champions Mercedes.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich put the club up for sale on March 2 before being sanctioned the following week by the British government over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“We’ve been rejected out of hand by Raine, but we will keep reminding people we are still here,” Ineos director Tom Crotty told Bloomberg on Wednesday.
The bid fronted by Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly has received preferred bidder status from Raine.
Boehly has united with fellow Dodgers co-owner Mark Walter, British businessman Jonathan Goldstein, Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss and US investment firm Clearlake Capital.
The Boehly consortium is now in exclusive talks to try and seal the deal with time running out before a special licence granted to the club to keep operating expires on May 31.
However, there are fears for the future of the club should Abramovich renege of his initial promise not to call in loans exceeding £1.5 billion.
The Times reported on Tuesday that Abramovich is claiming 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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