Chelsea sale decision expected early next week as Thomas Tuchel praises Lewis Hamilton

Three remaining bids face anxious weekend before learning of preferred buyer for Premier League club as Roman Abramovich takeover saga continues

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Thomas Tuchel reacts to Arsenal defeat

A decision around the preferred group to take over Chelsea Football Club from sanctioned owner Roman Abramovich is set to be communicated early next week, a source involved in one of the three shortlisted bids has suggested.

Raine Group, the New York-based merchant bank overseeing the sale on Abramovich’s behalf, and the club’s board, chiefly directors Bruce Buck and Marina Granovskaia, have been assessing the final offers for the past week and there is a belief that their decision will be communicated soon.

The three groups are backed by American money. They are led by Todd Boehly, a part-owner of the LA Dodgers; Stephen Pagliuca, a Boston Celtics owner who controls the biggest share in Serie A club Atalanta; and a consortium fronted by Sir Martin Broughton but primarily funded by Josh Harris and David Blitzer, minor owners in Crystal Palace.

The Broughton bid has been boosted by the addition of Sir Lewis Hamilton and Serena Williams as minor investors, with the seven-times Formula 1 champion confirming his interest earlier this morning at a press conference ahead of this weekend’s grand prix in Imola, Italy.

“It is the biggest sport in the world and Chelsea is one of the biggest clubs in the world and most successful,” he said. “When I heard of the opportunity I thought, ‘wow, this is one of the greatest opportunities to be a part of something so great’.”

Once a preferred bidder is named, an application must be made for the terms of the government’s operating licence to be amended to allow a takeover to proceed. The Department for Digitial, Culture, Media and Sport has indicated that its only concern is around ensuring that Abramovich, who is on the sanctions list because of links to Russian president Vladimir Putin, does not stand to make any financial gain.

Thomas Tuchel says he is a big admirer of Lewis Hamilton and Serena Williams

Hamilton has confirmed his interest in the bid


James Moy Photography/PA Images)

Meanwhile, Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel said that he is a big admirer of Hamilton and Williams but was not willing to engage on the sale of the club and their potential roles.

“I got a briefing and heard that they are a part of it. I can’t tell you much more than that,” he said. “I am a big admirer of both of them. They are fantastic sports personalities on the court, on the race track, and off.

“They take responsibility as people and are outstanding sports figures in what they do, for which they have our biggest and my biggest respect. I have absolutely no insight into the proceeding and what role they play. I would like to not comment.”

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