Stamford Bridge Renovations Holding Up Chelsea sale after another stage intoduced with interested group set to be eliminated from this week.
The Mail has disclosed that Chelsea’s takeover is being held up by concerns over the future of Stamford Bridge.
Due to a potential necessity to refurbish the club’s home ground; Stamford Bridge Renovations — rather than moving elsewhere — bidders purchasing the club are straining to make the math work on bids of roughly £2.5 billion.
Another stage in the bidding process has also been added, with one of the three interested firms set to be eliminated this week.
Originally, it was expected that one of the three surviving consortia would be picked as the preferred bidder.
‘Without moving the stadium, the sums don’t work,’ a source said.
‘They’re private equity guys and want to make a profit in the long term. No matter how glamorous the trophies are, the sums don’t work without moving the stadium if the deal is for £2.5bn.’
Raine Group, the American bank in charge of the sale, needs bidders to make assurances about the stadium’s future. It’s been a long time since it’s been rebuilt.
According to the source, requiring bidders to guarantee renovation in their final offers will reduce the value of their bids.
‘They will probably knock the price down. Everyone’s talking about it, it’s just no one’s talking about in the public domain,’ the source said.
Observers close to the situation said they expected Boston Celtics owner Steve Pagliuca’s bid to be eliminated this week, as it is not offering anything new.
The proposals from Sir Martin Broughton and Todd Boehly, the LA Dodgers-part owner, will then likely progress.
Broughton’s group, which is backed by American financiers Josh Harris and David Blitzer, are seemingly making the right moves, bringing Lewis Hamilton and Serena Williams on board.
But concerns have arisen over the Boehly bid bringing in former chancellor George Osborne, a noted Chelsea fan. Given that current chancellor Rishi Sunak is understood to be playing a key role in determining the winning bid, the inclusion of Osborne is looking wrong-headed, according to close observers.
‘How will Rishi Sunak, who’s making the decision, feel about the inclusion of the ex-chancellor? It doesn’t look good compared to the alternative, a diverse ownership group with the great and the good of Britain on board,’ said a source.
Even if one of the groups is successful, Roman Abramovich may yet decide not to sell to a bidder from the US or the UK.