Several media have confirmed that Chelsea’s owner, Roman Abramovich, had put the club up for sale at a price of over £ 2 billion as a result of his dispute with the government in recent months over his visa status.
The figure required for Chelsea would shatter the world record for the sale of a football club. If a buyer spends this money, it could almost triple the most expensive buyout in the history that is currently that of Manchester United by the Glazer family in 2006.
According to the Sunday Times, The Raine Group has been hired to assist in the transaction and will seek the interest of China, the United States and the Middle East. Three years ago, the investment bank also helped Manchester City’s Abu Dhabi homeowners purchase a 13 percent stake in Chinese investors for 1.9 billion pounds.
Abramovich, 51, is reported to have rejected an offer of £ 2 billion for his club, Britain’s richest man, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, earlier this year. The Russian, who has a fortune estimated at 9 billion pounds, recently acquired Israeli citizenship.
He also stopped plans to build a new 60,000-seat stadium in Chelsea, which would have cost about 500 million pounds.
However, the information was denied by an anonymous source from Chelsea quoted by the Belga agency. A spokesman for Roman Abramovich in Moscow also asserts that this is only “market speculation”.
Abramovich has been Chelsea’s boss since July 2003 when he bought the West London club for 140 million pounds from Ken Bates. Under his responsibility, the Blues have won five Premier League titles, the Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup five times.