With Chelsea's deadline for takeover bids now passed, a British-based consortium led by Blues season-ticket holders have confirmed that they made a bid.
London-based firm Centricus joined forces with Jonathan Lourie of Cheyne Capital, and Talis Capital’s Bob Finch to get a bid submitted to Raine Group before Friday's deadline.
As noted by The Times, the group are led by Chelsea fans. Lourie and Finch are both season-ticket holders at Stamford Bridge, as are Centricus co-founder Nizar Al-Bassam and CEO Garth Ritchie.
“I’ve had the same seats in the Tambling suite and the same seats in the West Stand for ten years," Al-Bassam said. "I’m worried for the staff there when I see this turmoil. We see the same people hosting us when we walk in. They’re amazing to us. We see the same people in the stands looking after us and I’m feeling for them.”
He continued: “We’ve tried to focus on a proposal which will align the ownership of the club with long-term investors with a deep history with the club. If you look at the proposal we put forward, keeping it an entirely British finance proposal is core to that.
“There are plenty of very successful clubs financed by international investors but in this case after two decades of exceptional success by the club, the club has the fanbase with the resources to support the club to maintain that success. That’s what’s very unique about this proposal.”
As part of their bid, the group have pledged to try and keep Marina Granovskaia in her current directors role, while there is also a hope to use Chelsea as a parent club to a number of different sides across the globe.
Ritchie added: “Chelsea are one of the very few unique iconic global brands that has come about by unfortunate circumstances, and that’s not lost on us, but the commercial opportunity around an iconic global name in a sport that is continuing to grow means there has to be commercial viability here.
“We have experience of managing big and complex organisations. We are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Not only do you have the FA making sure you don’t do anything wrong, you also have the FCA making sure you stay in your swim lane.
“We would definitely want to invest in the company, the players and surroundings. It’s why we keep talking about having ‘patient’ capital. The people supporting us have deep pockets of capital. Us being fans, we want to win and we need to invest and if we win the brand continues to grow back.”