Chelsea takeover: Todd Boehly consortium to be named preferred bidder to buy Premier League club

It emerged on Friday Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Britain's richest man, had tabled a last-minute £4.25billion bid to buy Chelsea; but the group headed by Boehly, the LA Dodgers part-owner, is advancing with its bid to takeover the Premier League club

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Sky Sports reporter Kaveh Solhekol gives an update on the sale of Chelsea football club following the news that the consortium led by LA Dodgers owner Todd Boehly is set to be the preferred bidder despite a late offer from Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

Todd Boehly's consortium is to be named as the preferred bidder to buy Chelsea.

It emerged on Friday Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Britain's richest man, had tabled a last-minute £4.25billion bid to buy the west London club.

But it would appear the group headed by LA Dodgers part-owner Boehly - which includes backing from Clearlake Capital, a US investment firm - is in the ascendancy with regard to the takeover.

Chelsea have told the consortium led by Stephen Pagliuca, part-owner of the NBA's Boston Celtics and Serie A's Atalanta, it is not the preferred bidder.

This latest development is a blow to the other remaining group left in the bidding, led by Sir Martin Broughton, the former Liverpool and British Airways chairman, which includes the billionaire Crystal Palace shareholders Dave Blitzer and Josh Harris.

Chelsea hope to have a new owner in place by the end of May.

Once the Raine Group selects a preferred bidder, the government must then grant a new licence to allow the sale to be completed.

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Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale on March 2, amid Russia's continued invasion of Ukraine.

The 55-year-old was then sanctioned by the UK Government on March 10, with Downing Street claiming to have proven links between the Russian-Israeli billionaire and Vladimir Putin.

Abramovich has owned Chelsea for 19 years, leading the club to 21 trophies in a glittering tenure.

Who were the bidders for Chelsea?

As the Boehly consortium advances with its takeover of Chelsea, Sky Sports takes a look at who else tried to buy Chelsea...

Sir Martin Broughton, the former British Airways and Liverpool FC chairman, and Lord Coe, the former British Olympian turned sports administrator and businessman, were fronting a bid that had the financial firepower of Josh Harris and Dave Blitzer, two wealthy American financiers, behind it.

New Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson with Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton in 2010
Image: Martin Broughton was previously chairman of Liverpool

Lewis Hamilton was one of the investors backing Broughton's attempt to acquire the west London club and is understood to have committed £10m to the bid.

Tennis legend Serena Williams is also among the backers of the Broughton consortium, spearheaded by the former Liverpool chairman.

A group led by the Ricketts family, which owns the Chicago Cubs, and the Citadel hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin, with the US investment bank Lazard was in the final four but withdrew its offer last month.

Image: The Ricketts family-led consortium withdrew its offer over the group's a failure to agree the make up of the deal

The plans fell apart due to members of the consortium being unable to agree on the final make up of the deal.

The Ricketts bid was unpopular among many Chelsea fans due to discriminatory emails sent by Joe Ricketts, the family's patriarch, in 2009, and some had staged a demonstration at Stamford Bridge before the defeat to Brentford earlier this month. The Ricketts family has said it "rejects any form of hate in the strongest possible terms".

Sky Sports News understands the Ricketts consortium's withdrawal was not down to the protests but rather the structure of the deal.

The final consortium was fronted by Steve Pagliuca, part-owner of the NBA's Boston Celtics and Serie A's Atalanta, which includes support from Larry Tanenbaum.

Pagluica is a private equity billionaire who has made a fortune from his career at Bain Capital.

Among the group's other co-investors are said to be John Burbank, founder of the San Francisco hedge fund Passport Capital, and Eduardo Saverin, the Facebook co-founder who was the first investor in the tech behemoth.

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