Chelsea: Centricus bid to buy club aims to ‘preserve existing management’

Thomas Tuchel celebrating Chelsea’s victory over Lille

Global investment firm Centricus is funding another British bid for Chelsea, saying it wants to “preserve and support existing management”.

The Premier League club was put up for sale by Russian owner Roman Abramovich before he was sanctioned after his country’s invasion of Ukraine.

This latest offer, backed by £29bn Centricus, involves several Chelsea season ticket holders.

At least four other consortiums said they were bidding to buy Blues.

There is a group that includes Sir Martin Broughton and Lord Coe, and another led by British property investor Nick Candy.

The United States’ interest comes from the Ricketts family, while a group consisting of Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss and Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boly also applied.

There are also reports that the offer was submitted by Saudi Media Group, and the deal is handled by the American investment company Raine Group.

Centricus co-founder Nizar Al-Bassam and chief executive Garth Ritchie are leading the bid, which also includes hedge fund manager Jonathan Lurie of Cheyne Capital and Bob Finch of Talis Capital.

In a statement, the group said it “will be committed to supporting [Chelsea] and its key stakeholders to ensure its continued success.”

He added: “Our financing of the transaction includes financing for the completion of the transaction and financing for the working capital required for the day-to-day operations of the CFC Group, funds required to maintain an elite global brand, investments in grassroots and community football initiatives such as the Chelsea Academy, Women’s team, the Youth Development Program and the Chelsea Foundation, and strategic investments in real estate.

“The intention is to retain and support the existing leadership in both the business and sports activities of the CFC Group. We intend to maintain the existing strategic direction.

“It is clear that the CFC Group is operating in a challenging environment and we understand the importance for the CFC Group, fans and other key stakeholders to ensure a smooth and stable transfer of ownership. During this transition period and beyond, we will ensure that there is frequent and open dialogue with all key stakeholders that supports our long-term commitment to the CFC Group and its continued success in the future.

“If our proposal is successful, Centricus will focus on ensuring that the CFC Group continues to achieve sports performance, a high level of community support, transparent governance, financial sustainability, fan engagement and exemplary care.”

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