Meet Some of the Potential Players in Race to Buy Chelsea

Roman Abramovich’s sale of Chelsea Football Club has drawn widespread interest from prominent personalities in the world of business, finance and sports

Russian Billionaire Roman Abramovich's London Properties And Chelsea FC.
By Peter Flanagan
March 09, 2022 | 11:19 AM

Bloomberg — Roman Abramovich’s sale of Chelsea Football Club has drawn widespread interest from prominent personalities in the world of business, finance and sports. Whoever takes over will have a tough act to follow: When Abramovich bought the club for about 150 million pounds ($197 million) in 2003, it hadn’t won the English top division since 1955. Since his arrival, the club has won 21 trophies, including five domestic and two European Champions League titles.

Here are the names in the frame to succeed Abramovich.

1. Josh Harris

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The co-founder of Apollo Global Management Inc., worth about $7.6 billion, remains undecided on an offer, Bloomberg reported on March 8. If Harris, 57, did buy Chelsea it would be the latest in a string of sports investments: He’s already a minority owner of the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers and has stakes in the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. He is also looking at bidding for the NFL’s Denver Broncos and owns a stake in another Premier League club, Crystal Palace FC. He would likely have to offload that holding to bid for Chelsea.

2. Woody Johnson

New York Jets owner and former U.S. ambassador to the U.K. Woody Johnson is working on an offer, according to ESPN. He would be the fourth NFL owner to hold a stake in a Premier League franchise if he takes over Chelsea. Johnson, 74, is an heir to the Johnson & Johnson consumer products fortune. He has owned the Jets since 2000. The team last won more than half its games in 2015.

3. Vivek Ranadivé

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Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé is preparing a bid, Sportico reported on March 8. Ranadive, 64, made his fortune in software before leading a consortium that bought his NBA franchise in 2013. Before that, he held a minority stake in the Golden State Warriors. His Bow Capital Partners played a key role in bringing co-working firm WeWork Inc. to the public market in October.

4. Todd Boehly

Former Guggenheim Partners President Boehly is leading a consortium bidding for Chelsea along with Hansjorg Wyss, the Daily Telegraph reported. Boehly bid for the club back in 2019, only for Abramovich to turn him down, according to Dow Jones. A part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team, he has just agreed terms to sell his CBAM Partners to Carlyle Group Inc. for $787 million.

5. Jamie Reuben

The son of billionaire property investor David Reuben is considering an offer, Bloomberg reported on March 8. The 35-year-old Chelsea fan may make a bid in a personal capacity, though could tap his wider family’s vast wealth to help fund a deal. Reuben could also fund a new stadium for Chelsea. One wrinkle that may cause an issue: He, his father and uncle Simon own about 10% of rival Newcastle United.

6. Nick Candy

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The property developer confirmed he is exploring options to bid for Chelsea, the Evening Standard reported. A lifelong Chelsea fan, Candy and with his brother Christian are known for high-end developments, especially in central London. Any bid would likely include plans for a new stadium.

7. Any Other Candidates?

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