With the sale of Chelsea rumbling and uncertainty over runners and walkers, Sky Sports News’ Kaveh Solhekol explains exactly what’s going on at Stamford Bridge…
What’s the latest on the Chelsea deal?
The shortlist is currently incomplete. We know that the Boehly corporation is in it, and the Sir Martin Broughton corporation is also in it. There are still question marks about Ricketts and Nick Candy, it just dragged on for so long and took longer than it should.
This process has been complicated by a number of people being told they are not on the shortlist to decline an answer and try to get it. There’s even been a hint that some bidders might rally together to try to shortlist, it gets really, really messy.
Does the fan backlash against the Ricketts family count?
The shortlist hasn’t even been published and the Ricketts bid has been wildly controversial – and No To The Ricketts has gone mainstream on social media with countless Chelsea supporters protesting against it.
During this process, it is not necessarily the largest bid that will win. It must be someone who is considered a suitable future owner.
There is controversy over islamophobia and links to Donald Trump, although they say they did nothing wrong and that Joe Ricketts, who made those comments, was not involved in the bidding.
You have to think if a bid attracts so much controversy, are people thinking, ‘perhaps this is going to be too complicated?’ And the situation was complicated. With the punishment of Roman Abramovich and the war in Ukraine.
So I’m not sure they want another layer of controversy. But you have to say, if it’s just for the money and support then the Ricketts family group has every right to be shortlisted, because they’re backed by Ken Griffin, who I think is the 47th richest man in America – and will be about three times richer than Roman Abramovich.
If it’s not all about the size of the bid, what determines who takes over?
The Raine Group has returned to its top contenders and says they’d like some more details on the future – candidates with enough money to be able to sponsor a club the size of Chelsea. are not? Do they have enough money to solve the stadium problem?
So it’s not just the size of the bid, but also their plans for the future and whether they can afford to keep Chelsea running at the level they’ve become accustomed to under Roman Abramovich. . It’s a complicated situation because so many people are involved in the decision-making process.
The Raine Group is involved, so they will have a say, then Chelsea joins so Bruce Buck, Marina Granovskaia and the Chelsea board, and you have to say Roman Abramovich is not involved but everyone Article Chelsea executives at this time were the people he appointed and were close to him.
You would think he would have some sort of input – and then the Government would have to step in once a preferred bidder has been identified.
It is a bit worrying that all the leading candidates are corporations, they are not the one with the money to buy Chelsea.
And you never know what will happen in the future with a corporation, who will agree with whom, who will fail with whom. Chelsea supporters need to be more transparent about where the money comes from, from whom, is it borrowed from a bank and if it is a loan, who will pay it?
Will the club have to pay that amount in the future, rather than those associated with these corporations? And some of these joint ventures have not been particularly transparent about where the money comes from.
Can Chelsea speed up the process so that things get sorted out more quickly?
I think everyone wants this done as quickly as possible, and most people would say that this first phase has taken too long – but that’s particularly unforeseeable. next.
This turned out to be the most complicated takeover ever. The Newcastle game was very, very complicated, and the government was involved in it too. But with this case, it’s the owner being sanctioned, the sale is being made from New York, there are a number of different people interested and a lot of people who don’t really have the money to buy Chelsea also claim to be care. .
People say it can be done quickly. Of course, from Chelsea’s point of view, they want it done quickly. But as this drags on and on, you start to get the feeling that it’s not going to be done as quickly as people would like.
That is really worrying from Chelsea’s point of view because they are operating under the terms of this special license that has been given to them by the government, money is tight, their credit cards are frozen, the government The government has said that Roman Abramovich’s holding company can release. up to £30m to keep the club going, but how long will that money last?
We know Chelsea’s wage bill is around £28m a month. We are now nearing the end of the season and if this is not resolved, what impact will that have, for the players, for the future of everyone at the club?
How quickly can this be stitched up?
This will be arranged as early as the end of April. Out of contract players are free to talk to foreign clubs – and we know for a fact that they have spoken to foreign clubs.
I wouldn’t be overly hopeful about any of them staying at Chelsea, because we know Chelsea are not in a position to negotiate contracts with any player at the moment. Foreign clubs, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus, PSG.
So the players will have some very attractive offers made for them. And they’ll probably just think there’s too much uncertainty at Chelsea at the moment, and that makes it more likely that their departure will drag on.
At this point, will it affect Chelsea’s summer plans?
Sure. Did Marina Granovskaia go there? She is the one who oversees all the transfer business. She’s the one in charge of negotiating all the contracts – I’m not sure she’ll stay. This is the time of year when Chelsea will be working hard behind the scenes before the window opens, figuring out who they’ll try and sell, who’ll leave. All those plans have been put on hold for the time being.
The only thing I would say is that Chelsea have such a great squad anyway, but obviously you can expect them to have made a splash this summer. Everything just paused. A few months ago we talked about the fact that they went to Erling Haaland. It’s just happening at the moment and I can’t really see any of these corporations coming in quickly, sorting things out, taking over, backing Thomas Tuchel and saying, ‘here’s yours, this is 100. million pounds to buy another striker’.
Currently, they are not allowed to make any transfers. They are not allowed to offer contracts. They are not allowed to talk to players about contracts or offer new contracts. From the agent’s point of view, the agent is paid to look after his player. I’m not sure what any agent at the moment would say to their clients, as Chelsea are involved, wait and see. It’s not a stable situation. Until we have some more information about what the future holds it is very difficult to come out and say, ‘I want to stay at Chelsea’ or ‘I want to sign for Chelsea’. In Chelsea’s view, the situation should be resolved as soon as possible.
Is it possible to make more concessions on tickets under the club’s license?
What Chelsea fans are particularly unhappy about is their inability to buy tickets to Premier League matches, something many Chelsea fans consider unfair and illogical.
I don’t think Chelsea have given up, they are still trying to get the government to allow them to sell tickets to their own fans for Premier League games at Stamford Bridge, so I think I can some more developments. It is just an ongoing dialogue between the government and Chelsea.
I think it’s very, very important that Roman Abramovich can spend another £30m. That was hidden in the revised permit the government had issued the night before. A lot of people will question whether that is true because Abramovich is expected to be sanctioned, his assets are expected to be frozen. I can see both sides of the story.
I understand Chelsea supporters say, if you’re going to punish whoever punishes, the owners don’t punish us. And Chelsea actually said that they don’t even want the ticket money.
They are willing to give away free tickets to their supporters. But if this situation is not resolved, then in the future there will be empty seats at Chelsea matches after the match against Brentford. There will be basically 28,000 Chelsea season ticket holders and 8,000 empty seats in Chelsea matches.