Good morning Chelsea fans
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has given the green light for the sale of the club to go ahead with offers now expected to be considered by the end of next week.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Abramovich has instructed the New York-based merchant bank Raine to go ahead with the sale, despite being hit by sanctions that effectively take the process out of his hands.
That is very promising news for the fans, as the Blues were facing financial ruin had the Russian oligarch pulled the plug on the sale.
Both Raine and the west Londoners have held talks with the UK government over how the sale can go ahead and have agreed that the preferred bidder as well as the use of profit from the sale will require government approval.
But Abramovich has been given 81 days to sell the team or risk the club folding, according to SunSport’s Martin Lipton.
Chelsea face a £106million financial black hole, with shirt sponsors Three suspending their £40m-a-year contract, and £66m of Premier League and UEFA prize money set to be withheld.
And the ‘license’ that will allow the club to play on to the end of the season will not be renewed unless Abramovich, who valued the club at £3billion, agrees a sale and walks away without a penny.
The Blues have been told a deal must be agreed before the license runs out on May 31 to guarantee the club’s survival.
And Chelsea have received three bids from American-led groups looking to buy the club amid sanctions imposed on owner Abramovich.
According to the Telegraph, Raine have received almost 150 inquiries but so far three have emerged as the most serious and all are from the US.
Todd Boehly, together with Hansjorg Wyss and another businessman, have made an official offer between £2bn and £2.5bn.
The other two parties are the Ricketts family, who own the Chicago Cubs, and New York Jets bigwig Woody Johnson.
However, Chelsea’s bank accounts have reportedly been frozen to leave them in financial uncertainty.
That is according to The Times, who state sources at the Premier League club, who were given a license to still operate, have ‘warned the club’s corporate accounts, including credit cards, have been frozen’ as the banks are being ‘risk-averse ‘.
The source was quoted as saying: “The license allows the club to continue with day-to-day activities but the banks don’t have the risk appetite for it.
“They’ve frozen some of the corporate credit cards. It’s put a lot more pressure on the club”