Chicago Cubs owners and consortium featuring Lord Coe intend to bid for Chelsea
The Ricketts family, who own Major League Baseball team the Chicago Cubs, and a consortium featuring Lord Coe, both intend to make a bid for Chelsea by Friday’s deadline.
The Ricketts said they are leading a bid from a group of investors.
London Olympics chief Coe has joined ex-Liverpool chairman Sir Martin Broughton’s bid.
Roman Abramovich’s attempt to sell the club has been halted after he was sanctioned by the UK government.
That move came in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with Abramovich understood to have strong ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
BBC Sport understands the Ricketts group bid also includes US hedge fund entrepreneur Ken Griffin.
A statement on Wednesday from the Ricketts, who have had a majority interest in the Cubs since 2009, said they would share further details “in due course”.
“The Ricketts Family, owners of the Chicago Cubs, can confirm they will be leading an investment group that will make a formal bid for Chelsea this Friday,” the statement read.
“As long-time operators of an iconic professional sports team, the Ricketts Family and their partners understand the importance of investing for success on the pitch, while respecting the traditions of the club, the fans, and the community.”
The bid is described as “very serious” by one insider, with the family understood to have already done due diligence when they previously enquired about buying the club in 2018.
Broughton, who announced his intention to buy Chelsea over the weekend, told the BBC “I am absolutely delighted to welcome Lord Coe to our bid. His reputation speaks for itself, and he will bring phenomenal insight, leadership, and sporting knowledge to Chelsea Football Club.”
His group is expected to submit a bid in the next 48 hours.
Coe said he was “certain that Sir Martin is the right man to lead Chelsea Football Club into its next chapter” citing his “exceptional track record in British business”.
Coe added “most importantly, like me, he is a lifelong Chelsea supporter and Shed End season ticket holder. I know that this bid is for the millions of Chelsea fans around the world. We love our club and will always put the fans first”.
Broughton, 74, is a former British Airways chairman and now chairs private investment firm Sports Investment Partners. He was briefly Liverpool chairman in 2010.
Those close to the consortium declined to tell BBC Sport who was financing the bid or who else was involved.
Coe would take a seat on the Chelsea board if Broughton’s bid is successful, according to the PA news agency.
More than 20 credible parties are interested in buying the Premier League club.
British businessman Nick Candy said earlier this month he was exploring “a number of options for a potential bid”.
Former Chelsea striker Gianluca Vialli announced on Wednesday that he is working with Candy on his bid.
Vialli co-owns Tifosi, a mergers and acquisitions company for the football sector.
The former Italian international said: “I am proud and feel very privileged to support Mr Candy’s bid to buy Chelsea Football Club.”
The 57-year-old added: “We share the same view that if the bid is successful, we will try to be the best possible custodians of the club, knowing that it is imperative that supporter concerns are front and centre of any owner’s priorities.”