According to a report, a group of U.S. investors have been in talks about buying Chelsea Football Club.
The Daily Mail claim that the richest man in the UK, Jim Ratcliffe, and finance groups from the U.S. and Asia have held “exploratory talks” with those in charge of the Premier League club.
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Per the report, a host of U.S. and Asian investors are targeting the Premier League as they believe it has the potential for future growth.
Current owner Roman Abramovich hasn’t been to a Chelsea game this season after the Russian billionaire had his request for a new British visa denied in May 2018.
It is believed he would want $3.27 billion to sell the west London club he bought back in 2003 for $183 million. Abramovich is said to invested over $1.57 billion of his own money in Chelsea, as they’ve won 15 major trophies over the last 15 years.
Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Crystal Palace and Fulham are all owned by U.S. investors or businesses, and only seven of the current 20 teams are owned by British investors.
Why would Abramovich sell Chelsea now? Not being able to live in the UK has had an impact on his involvement in the club, with huge plans to redevelop Stamford Bridge shelved after his visa was denied.
Those are worrying signs for Chelsea, but Abramovich wasn’t going to bankroll them forever and it’s a saving grace they are now such a strong business with huge commercial deals setting the club up to be somewhat sustainable when it comes to Financial Fair Play.
It will be intriguing to see what happens at Chelsea over the next six months, as they have a FIFA transfer ban and the future of several star players (such as Eden Hazard) is still up in the air.
Add into the mix a potential sale of the club and there is a lot of change coming up in SW6.