As we near the end of the Premier League campaign, Chelsea fans certainly won’t have expected to still be in the dark about who their new owner will be.
It has been almost two months since Roman Abramovich put the club up for sale after the UK placed sanctions on the Russian billionaire due to his link to Vladimir Putin.
However, despite the urgency to replace Abramovich last month, we appear to be no closer to discovering who will take over the Premier League side.
There have been a number of big names that have made bids to buy Chelsea, with one consortium led by Todd Boehly and another by Sir Martin Broughton thought to be leading the race - though it has now been reported that Sir Jim Ratcliffe has made a late bid.
It is thought the other interested parties were in the running to buy the club for around £2 billion, while the British billionaire is said to have submitted a bid of £4.25 billion.
Ratcliffe’s offer would mean £1.75bn invested into the club over 10 years, while a further £2.5bn would go to a charitable trust to support victims of the war in Ukraine.
So who is Ratcliffe and why does he suddenly want to buy Chelsea Football Club?
Who is Sir Jim Ratcliffe?
Ratcliffe is a Monaco-based British billionaire who is the chairman and CEO of the Ineos chemicals group.
The 69-year-old founded the company in 1998, which is best known in the sporting world for its sponsorship of British cycling outfit Team Ineos.
Born in Failsworth in Lancashire, Ratcliffe is a Manchester United fan and is also the owner of Ligue 1 club Nice.
As of May 2018, Ratcliffe was named the richest person in the UK, with a net worth of £21.05bn.
Two years later, Bloomberg Billionaires Index estimated his net worth at $28.2 billion, making him the 55th richest in the world and second in the UK.
Why does he want to buy Chelsea? What is the latest news
Ratcliffe has been heavily linked with Chelsea previously but dismissed reports he could succeed Roman Abramovich only last month.
It is unclear what changed the billionaire’s mind or whether he was just waiting to get his own consortium together, though with the staggering bid that is over double the other parties’, he is clearly very committed to a deal.
However, the latest development in the story is that Ratcliffe has been told to “forget” his £4.25bn bid for Chelsea by the US bank overseeing the sale.
Tom Crotty, director of communications and corporate affairs at Ratcliffe’s company Ineos, told the Telegraph: “We’ve had an email to say: ‘Forget it, you’re not in the process.
“That was from Raine, but we’re not giving up because we believe what we’ve got is a bid that makes good sense for the club.”
However, Ratcliffe is understood to have not given up hope on purchasing Chelsea despite a consortium led by Todd Boehly being granted preferred bidder status.