Since Chelsea football club was set available for sale by the owner Roman Abramovich, several wealthy individuals have shown interest. And Sir Martin Broughton is the leading bidder among the list. Sir Martin is the former Liverpool and British Airways administrator.
The most recent to show interest to buy the club are Lewis Hamilton and Serena Williams. The two are committing a large number of pounds to one of the offers competing to becone the new owners of Chelsea.
The seven-times Formula 1 title holder and the former women’s worlr tennis No. 1, will perhaps be the next Chelsea owners.
Sources near the group said that Hamilton and Williams – the most prominent individuals from any of the three excess consortia – had promised an expected £10m each to the bid.
Both Hamilton, who will compete for Mercedes at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola this weekend – live on Sky Sports – and Williams, who has won 23 Grand Slams including seven Wimbledon titles, have become laid out investors by their own doing lately.
Serena Ventures, the tennis star’s investment store, this week announced an interest in Opensponsorship, a British-based sports technology start-up, while Hamilton has backed a range of early-stage companies such as Zapp, the London-based rapid grocery delivery app.
Their association in the Chelsea closeout is unforeseen – not least since Hamilton is an Arsenal fan.
Hamilton and Williams have, however, been in conversation with the group led by Broughton for a considerable length of time.
Meanwhile, it isn’t clear which corporate entities would be used by the pair to put resources into the Blues.
The consortium is extraordinarily British-led among the threesome of shortlisted bidders and features another UK donning icon as Sebastian Coe among its patrons.
The addition of Hamilton and Williams was a not kidding venture decision due to their involvement with building global sports brands.
The inclusion of the pair was not the first time famous athletes had backed a Premier League club – NBA star LeBron James has been a small shareholder in Liverpool for more than a decade.
Under the consortium’s plans, Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (HBSE), the holding company headed by American private equity billionaires Josh Harris and Dave Blitzer, would hold a controlling stake in Chelsea – although they will need to divest their minority shareholding in Crystal Palace prior to completing a deal.
Their inclusion with the ownership and running of Crystal Palace starting around 2015 is also a particular variable among the excess bidders for Chelsea.
The Broughton-led group’s other investors include: Canada’s Rogers family, which holds a big interest in the media and telecoms company Rogers Communications; John Arnold, who chaired the Houston 2026 FIFA World Cup bid committee; and Taiwan’s Tsai family, which owns the Taipei Fubon Braves and Fubon Guardians baseball teams.
Alejandro Santo Domingo, an heir to one of the world’s biggest brewing fortunes and an investor in several North American sports franchises, is also investing in the bid.
Sources near the proposition led by Broughton said the variety of its list of global financial backers was among the variables that had convinced Hamilton and Williams to become involved.
One insider proposed that Hamilton was probably going to assume a proper role in Chelsea’s future endeavors to advance variety, value and consideration if the bid is successful.
He and Williams have been advocates in their separate sports and beyond in equality, lending their names to numerous anti-discrimination initiatives.
That issue was thrown into sharp focus earlier in the Chelsea sale process when one of the bidders – a consortium headed by the Chicago Cubs-owning Ricketts family – was forced to distance itself from historical Islamophobic remarks.
Broughton’s consortium is said to believe that it is best-placed of the remaining consortia to navigate the complexities of owning Chelsea, including the prospective redevelopment of its Stamford Bridge home.