What’s the story?
Yesterday, reports from The Sunday Times were making rounds which claimed that Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich, had put the club up for sale and was actively hunting for a buyer.
Having said that, the English outlet is now reporting that the Russian oligarch has even set an astronomical asking price for the sale of the Pensioners, which is reportedly £2.5 billion.
In case you didn’t know…
Abramovich has reportedly hired US investment bank Raine Group to seek interest from investors in China, the US and Middle East. They are the same specialist investment bank which helped Manchester City sell a 13% stake in the club to Chinese investors for £265m in 2015, and also have been associated with Chelsea for quite some time.
Allegedly, Abramovich has already rejected two approaches that were made to purchase Chelsea this year. Two separate bids from Sir Jim Ratcliffe, owner of Ineos Chemicals, and Silver Lake Partners, a US private equity firm, were made, but none were high enough to force the Russian to sell.
The heart of the matter
Since buying Chelsea in 2003, Roman Abramovich has overseen the club’s most successful era in its history as the Premier League outfit won a host of trophies, notably five Premier League titles, five FA Cups and the 2012 Champions League title.
However, recent tensions between Russia and Britain have significantly affected the Russian’s business which led to his visa problems and halting of Stamford Bridge’s redevelopment in May. As such, the 51-year-old seems willing to cut his ties with the Blues.
Rumour probability/rating: 7/10
Chelsea appear all set for a mega change if the present circumstances are anything to go by.
Should Abramovich’s £2.5 billion valuation be met, it would result in the biggest takeover of a football club. The sale would also make Chelsea the second-most valuable Premier League club behind Manchester United (approximately £3 bn).