Chelsea’s sale could progress quickly after Friday’s deadline for bid submissions.
New York investment bank, the Raine Group, will narrow down a shortlist of preferred bidders after Friday’s deadline to bid, according to the PA news agency.
The rapid pace of the club’s sale of Stamford Bridge means a shortlist as tight as three offers could be in place at the start of next week.
A strong core of bidders are ready to submit their proposals, and a group of those contenders strengthened their hands considerably amid even more remarkable developments on Thursday.
Lord Sebastian Coe has joined Sir Martin Broughton’s bid, adding heavy credibility to the former Liverpool chairman’s bid to buy the Blues.
The chairman of World Athletics, the head of the London 2012 Olympics and Chelsea fans’ longtime supporter of Broughton are believed to be finding favor in government circles.
Chicago Cubs owners, the Ricketts family, confirmed their Chelsea offer in a bullish statement and added influential hedge fund boss Ken Griffin to their consortium.
British property tycoon Nick Candy has signed Chelsea favorite Gianluca Vialli for his bid, with the former Italy striker and current Azzurri assistant manager sure to win favor with Blues fans.
The expertise of Vialli’s investment and mergers firm, Tifosy, would also add substance to Candy’s offer.
LA Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly was the first to become a real contender in Chelsea’s race, with the American tycoon’s consortium another to have clout.
New York Jets owner Woody Johnson has long been rumored to be lining up an offer, but has yet to make his intentions public.
Roman Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale on March 2, amid Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian-Israeli billionaire was then sanctioned by the government last week, with all of his UK assets frozen apart from Chelsea, with the Blues operating under the strict license of Downing Street.
The government sanctioned Abramovich after he claimed to have proven his links to Vladimir Putin, but the 55-year-old has always denied the claims.
Chelsea’s form has been near exceptional since Abramovich announced his intention to step down from frontline ownership at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues’ Russian owner attempted to place Chelsea under the ‘stewardship and care’ of the club’s Chelsea Foundation trustees, just as Thomas Tuchel’s side prepared for the Carabao Cup final.
We have great… 🎶 pic.twitter.com/ai7NxlMsDC
– Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) March 17, 2022
Chelsea lost 11-10 to Liverpool on penalties after one of the most demanding shootouts in British Cup final history, and have won every game since.
Les Bleus added their fifth win on the spin with Wednesday’s 2-1 Champions League win at Lille to beat the French 4-1 on aggregate and reach the quarter-finals.
Chelsea now look forward with relish to Friday’s round of 16 tie, with Tuchel aiming for the defending champions to become the team no one wants to face.
“I want us to be the team nobody wants to play,” Tuchel said.
“That’s the role we see ourselves in, in this Round of 16.
“It’s a big step to do it again and again and again, and that’s why we’re fighting for the top four spots in perhaps the toughest league in the world right now.
“And we are fighting again in the last eight teams of the Champions League.
“So it brings out the best in us and we want to be the team nobody wants to play against. So let’s see what happens.