Sir Jim Radcliffe has made a late bid to buy Chelsea Football Club.
As we approach the end of the Premier League campaign, Chelsea fans certainly didn’t expect not to know who their new owner will be.
It’s been almost two months since Roman Abramovich put the club up for sale after the UK imposed sanctions on the Russian billionaire over his link to Vladimir Putin.
However, despite the urgency to replace Abramovich last month, we don’t seem to be any closer to finding out who will take over the Premier League side.
There have been a number of big names making bids to buy Chelsea, with a consortium led by Todd Boehly and another by Sir Martin Broughton thought to lead the race – although it has now been reported that Sir Jim Ratcliffe made a late offer.
It is believed that other interested parties were in the running to buy the club for around £2billion, while the British billionaire reportedly submitted a bid of £4.25billion.
Ratcliffe’s offer would mean £1.75billion invested in the club over 10 years, while a further £2.5billion would go to a charitable trust to support war victims in Ukraine.
So who is Ratcliffe and why does he suddenly want to buy Chelsea Football Club?
Who is Sir Jim Ratcliffe?
Ratcliffe is a Monaco-based British billionaire who is the chairman and chief executive of chemicals group Ineos.
The 69-year-old founded the company in 1998, which is best known in the sports world for its sponsorship of British cycling team Team Ineos.
Born in Failsworth in Lancashire, Ratcliffe is a Manchester United fan and also owns Ligue 1 club Nice.
In May 2018, Ratcliffe was named the UK’s richest person, with a net worth of £21.05 billion.
Two years later, Bloomberg Billionaires Index estimated his net worth at $28.2 billion, making him the 55th richest in the world and second in the UK.
Why does he want to buy Chelsea?
Ratcliffe has previously been heavily linked with Chelsea, but dismissed reports he could only take over from Roman Abramovich last month.
It’s unclear what changed the billionaire’s mind or if he was just waiting to put together his own consortium, although with the staggering offer that’s more than double that of other parties, he’s clearly very keen on a deal.
A statement from Ineos read: “Sir Jim Ratcliffe, chairman of INEOS, has made a formal offer for Chelsea FC, for £4.25bn. £2.5bn is being paid to the Charitable Trust to support war casualties, including £1.75bn invested directly in the club over the next 10 years.
“This is a British bid, for a British club. We believe that a club is bigger than its owners who are temporary guardians of a great tradition. With a responsibility to the fans and the community. That’s why we are committing to spending £1.75 billion over 10 years which will directly benefit the club. We will invest in Stamford Bridge to make it a world class stadium worthy of Chelsea FC. It will be organic and continuous so that we don’t we step away from the home of Chelsea and risk losing the support of loyal fans.
“We will continue to invest in the squad to ensure we have a top class squad of the best players, coaches and support staff in the world, in both men’s and women’s matches.
“And we hope to continue to invest in the academy to provide talented youngsters with the opportunity to develop into first-class players. We believe London should have a club that reflects the stature of the city. One who is held in the same esteem whether Real Madrid, Barcelona or Bayern Munich. We intend Chelsea to be that club. “We are making this investment as fans of the beautiful game – not as a way to make a profit. We do this with our main activities. The club is rooted in its community and supporters. And it is our intention to invest in Chelsea FC for this reason.