Chicago Cubs owners dropped interest in buying Chelsea FC, leaving three remaining bids for the forced sale of the Premier League club by sanctioned Russian owner Roman Abramovich.
The bid was spearheaded by Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts but faced opposition from Chelsea fans over anti-Islamic comments by his father Joe, which appeared in leaked emails three years ago.
The consortium, which also included American investors Ken Griffin and Dan Gilbert, didn’t directly address the “issues” preventing them from pursuing the bid ahead of Thursday’s deadline for final filings.
“After careful consideration, the Ricketts-Griffin-Gilbert group has decided not to make a definitive offer for Chelsea,” the company said in a statement. “During the completion of their bid, it became increasingly clear that certain issues could not be addressed given the unusual dynamics in the sales process. We have great admiration for Chelsea and its fans and wish the new owners all the best.”
North American sports team investors are also involved in the remaining three known offerings.
Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca has teamed up with Larry Tanenbaum, who owns Toronto-based shares in the NBA’s Raptors, NHL’s Maple Leafs and the city’s MLS team. Peter Guber, co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, also supports the group.
Another Dodgers shareholder, Todd Boehly, leads another consortium.
The third remaining known group is led by Martin Broughton, former chairman of Liverpool and British Airways, with a proposed investment from Josh Harris and David Blitzer, who own the Philadelphia 76ers and have stakes in Premier League club Crystal Palace.
A New York-based merchant bank, Raine Group, has overseen the sale process announced by Abramovich last month following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The oligarch has been sanctioned by Britain and the European Union for his links to Russian President Vladimir Putin with assets frozen, including Chelsea.
Abramovich has been disqualified from the Premier League for managing the reigning European champions and he will not be able to benefit from the proceeds of the sale, which the UK government will have to underwrite on the terms of a license allowing the team to continue operating.
Chelsea’s Champions League title defense was ended by Real Madrid on Tuesday, but Thomas Tuchel’s side are on track to qualify for next season’s lucrative UEFA competition as they sit third in the Premier League . Chelsea’s battle for the FA Cup continues with a semi-final clash against Crystal Palace on Sunday.
https://nypost.com/2022/04/15/cubs-owners-drop-plan-to-buy-chelsea-after-racist-comments/ Cubs owners drop plan to buy Chelsea after racist comments