Chelsea takeover news: why the Ricketts family has withdrawn from purchase - why did bid cause controversy?

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Chelsea were put up for sale by Roman Abramovich amid sanctions on him following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The consortium led by the Ricketts family has withdrawn their offer to buy Chelsea.

The decision was confirmed in a statement released to the Press Association on Friday morning.

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A statement revealed that the current owners of the Chicago Cubs and other partners within the group were unable to agree on the makeup of their final offer for the reigning European champions.

Interested parties were given a deadline of Thursday to submit their final bid for the Blues to New York-based merchant bank the Raine Group.

However, the Ricketts group are now out of the running to succeed Roman Abramovich as Chelsea owner.

What have the Ricketts group said about their decision?

“The Ricketts-Griffin-Gilbert group has decided, after careful consideration, not to submit a final bid for Chelsea FC.

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“In the process of finalising the proposal, it became increasingly clear that certain issues could not be addressed given the unusual dynamics around the sales process.

“We have great admiration for Chelsea and its fans and we wish the new owners well.”

Why did their bid cause such controversy?

The bid from the Ricketts-led consortium provoked an angry response from Blues supporters after historic emails from family patriarch Joe Ricketts surfaced recently.

The Chelsea Supporters Trust released a statement when the content of the controversial emails became clear.

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It read: “At present, it is clear that our membership neither supports nor has confidence in the Ricketts family’s bid for the club.

“This is reflective of wider concerns articulated by large, vocal sections of Chelsea’s supporter base.

“The CST Board is guided by our membership, and thus we do not currently believe it is in the best interests of our members for the Ricketts family’s bid to succeed.

“We await further public detail from the Ricketts family on concrete steps they will take to address the well-documented concerns of Chelsea supporters.

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“Should the Ricketts publicly set out clear and detailed plans on how they will address support concerns, we may survey our members again in the next week.”

Supporters also held a demonstration against the interest ahead of the club’s home game with Brentford earlier this month - but it is believed the unrest did not play any part of the decision to withdraw their offer.

Which parties remain in contention to take over Chelsea?

There are now three parties that remain in the bidding to buy the Blues.

There are LA Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly, Sir Martin Broughton and Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca, who has the endorsement of Chelsea legend John Terry.

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Luis Garcia and John Terry battle out a Champions League tie at Stamford Bridge months after their League Cup final meeting. Luis Garcia and John Terry battle out a Champions League tie at Stamford Bridge months after their League Cup final meeting.
Luis Garcia and John Terry battle out a Champions League tie at Stamford Bridge months after their League Cup final meeting. | Getty Images

The former England centre-back is a founder member of the True Blues consortium which has planned to buy a 10% stake in the club.

A statement released recently confirmed their backing for Pagliuca’s offer.

It read: “Having engaged and been well received by all the bidders we were recently able to spend some time with Steve and Larry and getting to know their bid we’re again confident that they are aligned with Chelsea fans, and of course have experience in this area of owning sports teams.

“We feel the club are in a fortunate position with the final bidders and look forward to continuing dialogue with them.”

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