The Ricketts family’s bid to buy Chelsea has the backing of Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, the PA news agency understands.
Ilbert runs Rock Entertainment Group and has an estimated personal net worth of £24billion.
The 60-year-old is among America’s richest men, adding even more financial clout to the Ricketts family’s bid to buy Chelsea, who own the Chicago Cubs.
Ken Griffin is the other key financier in the Ricketts consortium, with the hedge fund tycoon estimated to be worth £22 billion.
Gilbert and Griffin are understood to have been signed to the Ricketts Consortium since the family’s bid to take the helm at Stamford Bridge Club.
Gilbert adds to the candidacy another great player with practical ownership of sports teams as well as his vast wealth.
The Cavaliers won the 2016 NBA Finals, the same year the Cubs found stardom in baseball’s World Series.
The different funding streams for the Ricketts’ bid to purchase Chelsea are believed to be entirely separate from the Cubs’ financial backing and will not affect the operation of the Chicago baseball franchise.
The Ricketts’ bid to buy Chelsea will be funded entirely with cash which will prove convincing as the sale of the west London club could reach £3billion.
Results of the CST survey
72% currently have no confidence that the Ricketts family would run an inclusive and successful club
77% do not support the Ricketts family’s offer
The CST does not currently believe that it is in the best interests of our members for the Ricketts Proposal to be successful. pic.twitter.com/miVQWqChNW
— Chelsea Supporters’ Trust⭐️⭐️ (@ChelseaSTrust) April 2, 2022
The Ricketts’ bid for Chelsea has met with strong opposition from fans following historic Islamophobic emails from family patriarch Joe Ricketts.
Ricketts senior is not in Chelsea’s offer, and Tom Ricketts has repeatedly apologized, calling those views “abhorrent” while forging strong ties with Chicago’s Muslim communities.
An online petition against the Ricketts’ bid to buy Chelsea has more than 20,000 signatures, but a protest at Stamford Bridge on Saturday drew a maximum of 100 people.
Tom Ricketts declared his “absolute commitment” to diversity and inclusion in a statement on Saturday.
Cubs Co-Chair Laura Ricketts plays a prominent role in Chelsea’s bid and is the first openly gay sports franchise owner in the United States, as well as a champion and activist for the LGBTQ community.
Roman Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale on March 2 amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
The 55-year-old was then sanctioned by the UK government on March 10, with Downing Street claiming to have proved his ties to Vladimir Putin.
Chelsea have been given a special government license to continue operating, albeit under strict conditions.
Abramovich cannot benefit from Chelsea’s sale but had already pledged to write off the club’s £1.5billion debt.
LA Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly and British business titan Jonathan Goldstein, Sir Martin Broughton and Lord Sebastian Coe, and Boston Celtics part-owner Stephen Pagliuca are the other remaining contenders.
The shortlisted consortia have until April 11 to submit final bids for Chelsea, with merchant bank The Raine Group aiming to select a preferred bidder by April 18.
The government would then have to approve this preferential offer and issue a new license to sell Chelsea.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/cleveland-cavaliers-owner-dan-gilbert-part-of-ricketts-family-bid-for-chelsea-41515193.html Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, part of the Ricketts family, is bidding for Chelsea