New York Jets owner Robert “Woody” Johnson has reportedly launched a £2billion bid to buy Chelsea from Roman Abramovich, according to The Sun.
The American businessman - a friend of former US president Donald Trump - hopes to seal the deal before Friday’s deadline.
Johnson has bid less than the Saudi Media Group’s £2.7billion, however he believes he can win the race because of his extensive London links.
Abramovich announced that he would be looking to sell the club earlier this month amid a climate of mounting sanctions on oligarchs following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
For his part, Johnson is understood to be “very knowledgeable” in regards to Chelsea and the Premier League as a whole, having previously lived in London.
If successful in his potential bid, the American would join a number of fellow NFL franchise owners with financial interests in England’s top flight.
Stan Kroenke owns both the LA Rams and Arsenal, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ Glazer family also own Manchester United, and the San Francisco 49ers‘ owner Jed York has a minority stake in Leeds United.
In the Championship, Fulham are owned by Jacksonville Jaguars chief Shad Khan.
Here’s everything you need to know about Woody Johnson...
Who is Woody Johnson?
The 74-year-old American is the billionaire owner NFL franchise, the New York Jets.
Johnson is the heir to the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical fortune, which was founded by his great-grandfather, Robert Wood Johnson I.
The younger Johnson rose to prominence in 2000, when his $635 million bid for the Jets was accepted, and has been a recognisable figure in the NFL ever since.
Away from sports, the University of Arizona graduate also acted as ambassador to the United Kingdom for Donald Trump’s presidential administration, despite having no prior diplomatic experience.
Johnson had initially backed Republican candidate Jeb Bush in the 2016 primaries, but would go on to raise around $1.5 million towards Trump’s campaign for the Oval Office.
How much is Woody Johnson worth?
According to financial disclosure documents submitted in 2017, Johnson boasts a net worth in the region of $4.2 billion.
At the time that those documents were released, that fortune put Johnson among the world’s 500 richest people.
Who else is interested in buying Chelsea?
There have been no shortage of touted suitors in the days since Roman Abramovich announced his intention to sell the club.
Alongside Johnson, reports have claimed that the Saudi Media Group made their £2.7bn offer earlier this week.
The consortium is led by Chelsea fan Mohamed Alkhereiji and has no direct links to the government.
Meanwhile, Sky Sports confirmed last week that a consortium led by US businessman Todd Boehly and Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss had made an offer to buy the club.
In total, it is understood that around 300 parties have voiced their interest in lodging potential bids for Chelsea, with around 10 of those possible buyers deemed credible.
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