The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust says its members “neither support nor trust” the Ricketts family’s bid to buy the Blues.
The influential CST conducted a quick poll of members in which 77 percent of respondents said they did not support the Ricketts’ bid to buy Chelsea.
The Ricketts, who own the Chicago Cubs, are among the final four bidders aiming to buy Chelsea from Roman Abramovich.
Cubs Chiefs and siblings Tom and Laura Ricketts are leading the family’s bid to take over the west London club.
Chelsea fans have organized a protest against the Ricketts’ candidacy to take place ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Brentford at Stamford Bridge.
Father Joe Ricketts, who has no role in either the Cubs or the bid to buy Chelsea, called Muslims “my enemy” in leaked 2019 emails.
Chelsea fans have consistently expressed concerns on social media and now the CST has lent further weight to those worries.
“At this time it is clear that our membership does not support or trust the Ricketts family’s bid for the club,” the CST said in a statement.
“This reflects broader concerns being expressed by large, vocal sections of the Chelsea fanbase.
“The CST Board is governed by our membership and as such we do not currently believe it is in the best interests of our members for the Ricketts family’s bid to be successful.
“We await further public details from the Ricketts family on specific steps they will be taking to address the well-documented concerns of Chelsea supporters.
“Should the Ricketts publicly provide clear and detailed plans for how they will address support concerns, we may return to polling our members over the next week.”
Tom Ricketts has been building bridges with Chicago’s Muslim community since his father’s comments in 2019 and continues to apologize for his father’s comments.
The Ricketts added advisory partners to fine-tune their bid ahead of the April 11 deadline for enhanced bids, but their bid is said to be funded entirely by cash.
Hedge fund boss Ken Griffin has put his significant personal financial clout behind the Ricketts’ bid for Chelsea.
However, Blues supporters continue to express concerns about the Ricketts’ candidacy to buy the club, with these issues emerging in the CST poll.
“Last week, the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust said there was an urgent and public need for the Ricketts family to address supporters’ concerns – particularly around inclusivity, given past and recent testimonies from family members,” the CST statement said.
“We are also committed to asking our members for their confidence and support in the Ricketts family’s bid for Chelsea FC.
“Yesterday we conducted a quick survey of our members. We asked our members if they had confidence in the Ricketts family to run an inclusive and successful club based on publicly available information as of April 1, and we asked if they supported the Ricketts family’s offer.
“Our members have sent a clear message in this regard: 72 percent of respondents currently have no confidence that the Ricketts family would run an inclusive and successful club, and 5 percent of respondents believe they would.
“Similarly, 77 per cent of members who responded do not support the Ricketts family’s bid for Chelsea FC and three per cent of respondents support it.
“It is important that the new owners of Chelsea FC have the trust of the fans and show an understanding of the values we stand for.”
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, Chicago Cubs owner Ricketts family and Boston Celtics part owner Stephen Pagliuca are the four remaining contenders.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/our-membership-neither-supports-nor-has-confidence-in-the-ricketts-familys-bid-chelsea-supporters-trust-41513436.html “Our membership does not support or trust the Ricketts family’s application” – Chelsea Supporters’ Trust