The UK government has been urged to block the potential takeover of Chelsea by Bain Capital, with the consortium being accused of 'despicably corrupt business' practices.
Bain Capital is co-owned by Stephen Pagliuca, who already has stakes in the Boston Celtics and Serie A side Atalanta. However, the bid has now been rocked by controversy, following a parliamentary debate.
Lord Peter Hain told the House of Lords on Thursday: "As a Chelsea fan for 57 years, will the Government ensure that no winning bid loads debt on the club like the Glazers did to Manchester United?
"Will ministers also bar the Pagliuca Consortium bid headed by the chair of Bain Capital which remains highly entwined with Bain & Company, recently indicted by a South African Judicial Commission for acting 'unlawfully' and referred for prosecution.
"Bain cynically and ruthlessly disabled the country's tax collecting agency by conspiring with the corrupt former president Zuma for an £8m fee. Chelsea and the Premier League must not be contaminated with such despicably corrupt business practice.”
Conservative Lords whip Baroness Penn, replying for the Government, said: “The Government does not want to pre-judge any decision Chelsea may make as it is a decision for them to ensure the best owners for the club are found.
“We would expect all due diligence and assessment of owners to happen before an application for a licence for the sale of the club to be made, which then OFSI (Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation) would consider on its merits.”
Bain Capital have already made their position clear, denying any link between itself and Bain & Company, the group accused of the shoddy practices.
This controversy is the latest twist in the Chelsea takeover saga. Supporters have recently started the #NoToRicketts campaign on social media in opposition to the Ricketts family's proposed purchase of the club.
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