The sale of the Premier League football team to Chelsea, which began when the British government approved the Russian owner for a deal with the Kremlin, was already the most significant sale in the history of the recent game. Friday, a shocking turn of events came as a result of one of Britain’s richest men, who was embroiled in a heated argument over a roadblock that seemed to be on the verge of collapse.
The donations made by Jim Ratcliffe, the billionaire CEO of Ineos, were valued at $ 5.3 billion, and represent the highest value ever paid on a sports team. His arrival disrupted the marketing process which was weeks in production; placing doubts on the prospect of a speedy, clean personal transfer; and put a new game in the future of one of the richest and most successful football clubs in the world.
By the end of the day, it was unclear whether Ratcliffe’s call would be successful, or whether it was acceptable.
According to a number of reports published Friday unannounced anonymous, another request by the Los Angeles Dodger owner, Todd Boehly, was granted exclusive freedom to negotiate the purchase of the band. The New York Times could not confirm this, although a group of owners confirmed that they had been told it was over.
Ratcliffe, meanwhile, emerged in the shadows. He drafted his 11-hour offer as a “British bid, for a British club” – a clear attempt to differentiate him from the three US competitors before the British government, which should bless any trade for sanctions. .
The timing of Ratcliffe’s reflection and how he was publicly announced – through a statement released a few weeks after his release – could prove to be a challenge for him to collaborate with Raine Group, a New York-based consulting firm. sale on behalf of Chelsea’s Russian owner Roman Abramovich.
Ratcliffe’s late intervention also leads to the possibility of serious criticism of the way in which it was initially shrouded in chaos and chaos, both playing against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as Abramovich’s relationship with Russian President Vladimir V. Putin.
Chelsea, the former European champion, was sent into the fray even before the British government considered Abramovich a close ally of Putin and imposed heavy sanctions on his finances as part of a series of sanctions announced against Russia’s oligarchs. Abramovich, who has spent more than $ 2 billion at Chelsea since buying the club in 2003, announced in March that he would sell the club in a bid to bolster his relationship with Russia. The sale became unavoidable when Abramovich’s property cooled off with the British government.
Ratcliffe’s donation includes a commitment to invest more than $ 3 billion in charitable foundations that Abramovich said he has made to approve the sale price. (Abramovich is banned, under current sanctions, from receiving any money from commercials.) But Ratcliffe has also committed to spending more than $ 2 billion to ensure the team retains its place among international football players.
“We are making this money as fans of the game – not as a way to make a profit,” Ratcliffe said in a statement from Ineos. “We do this with our big business. The club was established in their community and its fans. And it is our intention to invest in Chelsea FC for these reasons.”
Under Abramovich, Chelsea have become one of the biggest and best teams in world football. This has come at a high cost, however, the team lost about $ 1 million a week since Abramovich, an unknown Russian businessman, took control of the group in 2003.
Ratcliffe, whose wealth could surpass even Abramovich’s fortune, said he would be willing to do the same. But it offered even Friday without knowing whether they would hear, or whether another request could be granted to Abramovich, the British government and the Premier League.
The government will need to issue a permit, similar to the one that has allowed Chelsea to continue operating even though the cold is imposed on certain Abramovich products and companies, such as the nature of any trade. The Premier League must also acknowledge all new owners.
As part of his donations, Ratcliffe said he had donated 2.5 billion pounds, or $ 3.1 billion, to a charitable organization “to help those affected by the war.” That language was similar to the one Abramovich used when he announced his sale to Chelsea, but it is unclear how such a treat would work, or how British officials could ensure that no money goes to Abramovich or his entities.
Ratcliffe has also promised to invest $ 2.1 billion in Chelsea over the next 10 years, a number that will include the renovation of the Stamford Bridge club’s old club, some of which Abramovich has demanded from new owners.
Chelsea would not be the first to invest in a game, or football, for Ratcliffe, the self-proclaimed Chelsea Premier League rival of Manchester United since his school days. He already owns the French football team OGC Nice, located near his hometown of Monaco, and FC Lausanne-Sport, a Swiss team. But buying Chelsea can be very different from someone who is known to be very cheap.
“We believe that London should have a club that reflects the city,” Ratcliffe said. “One that happens like Real Madrid, Barcelona or Bayern Munich. We want Chelsea to be a club.”
His bold and seemingly unsolicited offer will infuriate a group of American advertisers who have spent the last few weeks doing the most sophisticated commercials created by Raine’s fellow founder, Joe Ravitch. Dates for the last business were added several times, and this weekend the remaining three financial groups were told to increase their contributions by $ 600 million.
The former sales were among the most spectacular in the world of professional sports, a beauty contest that brought together the richest people in the world, as well as famous and anonymous athletes who seemed to want to use the business to further their reputation. .
Boehly, who wanted to defend Britain’s alliance with a well-allied British army, including George Osborne, a former British finance secretary, has been working hard to defend Chelsea since Abramovich announced his departure from the club. Boehly and her friends traveled through difficult terrain – avoiding mistakes that were costly for some couples – to be seen as leaders this week.
The Boehly team was challenged by a larger team registered by Josh Harris and David Blitzer, members of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers coaching staff, who added Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton and tennis star Serena Williams to their squad.
The third finisher was a team led by Steve Pagliuca, owner of the Nost Boston Celtics. The Pagliuca Consortium also included Larry Tenenbaum, chairman of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, who owns the NBA Toronto Raptors, Toronto Maple Leafs hockey and Toronto FC of Major League Soccer But confirmed on Friday that he had been told he did not want any more.
For Chelsea players, staff and fans, the sale is not going to come anytime soon. The group has been working hard economically since the sanctions against Abramovich were announced. A special government license that allows the team to operate has resulted in the team owning 10,000 unsold tickets for its home games, and has forced the team to reduce travel expenses and close online retail and brick and mortar stores.
“It would be nice” for things to be resolved soon, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel admitted after Sunday’s victory. But you can’t pull the grass to grow faster.