Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss offered chance to buy Chelsea as Abramovich, hastily selling UK properties 

Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss has claimed he has been offered the chance to join a takeover bid for Chelsea as pressure grows on Roman Abramovich to sell the club.

Abramovich’s future at Chelsea is uncertain after he announced plans to step down as chairman, and British Labour MP Chris Bryant said that the Russian was selling UK properties quickly to escape any financial sunctions.

Following a call in the British parliament for him to face sanctions as a result of the invasion of Ukraine, Abramovich decided to hand over control of Chelsea to the trustees of the club’s charity foundation.

The action has heightened speculation that the 55-year-old, who has repeatedly denied any suspected ties to Vladimir Putin or Russia, or that he has done anything to warrant sanctions, is about to be enticed to sell.

Interested parties could look to move swiftly in case Abramovich is sanctioned by the UK government, at which point it is unlikely a sale would be permitted. 

Chelsea have maintained that they are not for sale, but bids could reach Abramovich this week and the sense of uncertainty has grown after Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss said had been asked to join a consortium of “six or seven investors” looking to buy the club.

There is no suggestion that Abramovich is about to call in the £1.5bn worth of loans he has given Chelsea since buying them in 2003. 

However, Wyss said that Abramovich wanted a sale, though the 86-year-old added that the current asking price was too high.

Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss claims

“Abramovich is trying to sell all his villas in England, he also wants to get rid of Chelsea quickly,” Wyss told the Swiss newspaper Blick. “I and three other people received an offer on Tuesday to buy Chelsea from Abramovich. 

I have to wait four to five days now. Abramovich is currently asking for far too much. You know, Chelsea owe him £2bn. But Chelsea has no money. As of today, we don’t know the exact selling price.”

Wyss, worth a reported £4.3bn, said that he would not act alone. “I can well imagine starting at Chelsea with partners,” he said.

“But I have to examine the general conditions first. But what I can already say: I’m definitely not doing something like this alone. If I buy Chelsea, then with a consortium consisting of six to seven investors.”

Chelsea’s declined to comment on Wyss’s claims. Speculation is mounting that Abramovich’s time at Chelsea could be drawing to a close. 

The US businessman Todd Boehly and the Ineos chairman, Jim Ratcliffe, have reportedly tried to buy the club in the past.

Abramovich’s plan to transfer the stewardship of Chelsea to the foundation’s trustees has run into obstacles. Some trustees have concerns over Abramovich’s plan and the Charity Commission has contacted the foundation for more information after a serious incident report was reported to the regulatory body.

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