Roman Abramovich is confident Chelsea will be in good hands under the Todd Boehly/Clearlake Capital consortium after it was confirmed the takeover will go through on Monday.

The Premier League club on Saturday released a statement revealing a new era that the deal is set to go through at the start of next week.

Abramovich put the club up for sale in March before he was sanctioned by the UK government due to his links to Russia's President Vladimir Putin following the invasion of Ukraine.

The Boehly-led consortium this month agreed a £4.25billion deal to acquire the London club.

Abramovich stated when he put Chelsea up for sale that the full amount that is paid to buy the club would go to a charitable foundation, with the money distributed to victims of the war in Ukraine.

The 55-year-old on Saturday released a farewell statement.

He said: "It has been nearly three months since I announced my intention to sell Chelsea FC. During this time, the team have worked hard to find the right custodian for Chelsea FC that would be best positioned to successfully lead the club into its next chapter.

"The ownership of this club comes with great responsibility. Since I came to Chelsea nearly twenty years ago, I have witnessed first-hand what this club can achieve.

"My goal has been to ensure that the next owner has a mindset that will enable success for the men's and women's team, as well as the will and drive to continue developing other key aspects of the club, such as the academy and the vital work of Chelsea Foundation.

"I am pleased this search has now come to a successful conclusion. As I hand over Chelsea to its new custodians, I would like to wish them the best of success, both on and off the pitch.

"It has been an honour of a lifetime to be a part of this club – I would like to thank all the club's past and current players, staff, and of course fans for these incredible years.

"I am proud that as a result of our joint successes, millions of people will now benefit from the new charitable foundation which is being established. This is the legacy which we have created together."

Chelsea have confirmed that the Todd Boehly/Clearlake Capital consortium are set to complete their takeover of the club on Monday.

The Blues this week moved a big step towards having new owners when the Portuguese government approved the sale of the club.

That was necessary as Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, Chelsea's owner since 2003, also holds Portuguese citizenship.

The UK government had on Wednesday stated that it was satisfied "the sale will not benefit Roman Abramovich", who was sanctioned due to his links to Russia's President Vladimir Putin following the invasion of Ukraine.

Chelsea agreed to terms for the sale of the club to an ownership group led by Todd Boehly, Clearlake Capital, Mark Walter and Hansjorg Wyss for £4.25billion this month.

Another positive update was provided on Saturday.

A club statement said: "Chelsea Football Club can confirm that a final and definitive agreement was entered into last night to sell the club to the Todd Boehly/Clearlake Capital consortium.

"It is expected that the transaction will be completed on Monday. The club will update further at that time."

The deal has been approved by the Premier League.

Chelsea moved a significant step closer to confirming new owners after the Portuguese government approved the sale of the club.

Such a deal required the green light from authorities in Portugal given that Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, Chelsea's owner since 2003, also holds Portuguese citizenship.

The clearance was confirmed a day after the UK government said it was satisfied "the sale will not benefit Roman Abramovich".

Chelsea agreed to terms for the sale of the club to an ownership group led by Todd Boehly, Clearlake Capital, Mark Walter and Hansjorg Wyss for £4.25billion earlier in May. That deal was passed by the Premier League on Tuesday, pending governmental approval.

The UK government sanctioned Chelsea owner Abramovich due to his links to Russia's president Vladimir Putin following the invasion of Ukraine.

The Chelsea takeover promises investment of £1.75billion into the club, while proceeds of the sale are expected to be donated to victims in Ukraine.

Portugal's government said in a statement on Thursday morning that a decision had been reached in talks held the previous evening.

"Portugal gave authorisation, this Wednesday night, to the sale of Chelsea football club," the statement said.

"The two competent national authorities – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Finance – gave the green light to the request received from Roman Abramovich for a humanitarian waiver, allowing the English club to be transacted.

"The Portuguese authorisation stems from the guarantee given by the British authorities that the proceeds from the sale will be used for humanitarian purposes, not directly or indirectly benefiting the owner of the club, who is on the European Union sanctions list. The national position has the agreement of the European Commission."

Chelsea's takeover has been cleared by the UK government, which is satisfied "the sale will not benefit Roman Abramovich".

The Blues agreed to terms for the sale of the club to an ownership group led by Todd Boehly, Clearlake Capital, Mark Walter and Hansjorg Wyss for £4.25billion earlier in May.

That deal was passed by the Premier League on Tuesday, with only government approval subsequently needed.

The UK government sanctioned Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich due to his links to Russia president Vladimir Putin following the invasion of Ukraine.

But Nadine Dorries, the UK secretary of state for the department for digital, culture, media and sport, confirmed on Wednesday the sale had been approved late the previous evening.

"Last night the Government issued a licence that permits the sale of Chelsea FC," she said in a statement on her Twitter page.

"Given the sanctions we placed on those linked to Putin and the bloody invasion of Ukraine, the long-term future of the club can only be secured under a new owner.

"We are satisfied the proceeds of the sale will not benefit Roman Abramovich or other sanctioned individuals.

"I want to thank everyone, especially officials who've worked tirelessly to keep the club playing and enable this sale, protecting fans and the wider football community."

The takeover promises investment of £1.75billion into the club, while proceeds of the sale are expected to be donated to victims in Ukraine.

Chelsea's proposed takeover has taken a huge step towards completion after the Premier League confirmed the sale was approved on Tuesday.

The Blues agreed to terms for the sale of the club to an ownership group led by Todd Boehly, Clearlake Capital, Mark Walter and Hansjorg Wyss for £4.25billion earlier in May.

The takeover, which promises investment of £1.75billion into the club, briefly appeared to be in doubt due to suggestions Roman Abramovich was unhappy with the sale structure.

Abramovich denied that to be the case, and the deal appears to be nearing a resolution, though the sale still needs to be approved by the UK government.

The proceeds of the sale are expected to be donated to the victims of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

A Premier League statement released on Tuesday read: "The Premier League Board has today approved the proposed takeover of Chelsea Football Club by the Todd Boehly/Clearlake consortium.

"The purchase remains subject to the government issuing the required sale licence and the satisfactory completion of the final stages of the transaction.

"The Board has applied the Premier League's Owners' and Directors' Test (OADT) to all prospective directors, and undertaken the necessary due diligence.

"The members of the Consortium purchasing the club are affiliates of the Clearlake Capital Group, L.P., Todd Boehly, Hansjorg Wyss and Mark Walter.

"Chelsea FC will now work with the relevant governments to secure the necessary licences to complete the takeover."

Roman Abramovich has hit out at "entirely false" claims that he has asked for the £1.5billion debt he was owed by Chelsea to be repaid.

The Chelsea owner put the six-time English champions up for sale on March 2 just before being sanctioned by the United Kingdom government due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Oligarch Abramovich, who has denied having close ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin, had his assets frozen and has since been sanctioned by the European Union and disqualified as a Chelsea director by the Premier League.

In order to help push through a smooth sale, the 55-year-old revealed in March he would write off the debt owed to him by the club, with proceeds from the sale going to a charitable foundation for "all the victims of the war in Ukraine".

According to media reports this week, Abramovich had apparently made a U-turn on that decision, raising doubts over whether a takeover would go through before the May 31 deadline, at which point Chelsea's government licence runs out.

But in a statement attributed to a spokesperson for Abramovich, issued on Chelsea's website on Thursday, the Russian said his initial stance has not changed – including his asking price for the London side.

"Firstly, Mr Abramovich's intentions in relation to gifting the proceeds from the Chelsea sale to charity have not changed," the statement read.

"Since the initial announcement, Mr Abramovich's team has identified senior representatives from UN bodies and large global charitable organisations who have been tasked with forming a foundation and setting out a plan for its activities.

"The lead independent expert has had conversations with government representatives presenting the structure and initial plans. Mr Abramovich has not been involved in this work and it has been managed independently by experts with years of experience working in humanitarian organisations.

"Secondly, Mr Abramovich has not asked for any loan to be repaid to him – such suggestions are entirely false – as are suggestions that Mr Abramovich increased the price of the club last minute.

"As part of Mr Abramovich's objective to find a good custodian for Chelsea FC, he has however encouraged each bidder throughout this process to commit investing in the club – including in the academy, women's team, necessary redevelopment of the stadium as well as maintaining the work of Chelsea Foundation."

A consortium led by Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly is said to be close to completing the final details of a takeover, despite a last-minute bid by Ineos owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

However, a deal cannot go through until the UK government is completely certain Abramovich will not receive any of the proceeds.

"Following sanctions and other restrictions imposed on Mr Abramovich by the UK since announcing that the club would be sold, the loan has also become subject to EU sanctions, requiring additional approvals," the spokesperson added.

"That means that the funds will be frozen and subject to a legal procedure governed by authorities. These funds are still earmarked for the foundation. The government are aware of these restrictions as well as the legal implications.

"To be clear, Mr Abramovich has no access or control of these funds and will not have any access or control of these funds following the sale. Despite the changing circumstances since his initial announcement – he remains committed to finding a good custodian for Chelsea FC and making sure the proceeds go to good causes."

Jim Ratcliffe has pledged to invest £1.75billion into Chelsea's teams and infrastructure if successful in purchasing the Blues, including a "world-class" redevelopment of their Stamford Bridge home.

Ratcliffe, who announced his bid for the west London outfit earlier on Friday, promised to ensure the Blues are "held in the same regard as Real Madrid, Barcelona or Bayern Munich" in a statement released by his company INEOS.

INEOS already has extensive sporting ties, owning Ligue 1 outfit Nice and enjoying sponsorship deals with the INEOS Grenadiers cycling team and Formula One's Mercedes, and Ratcliffe is now rivalling three consortiums for control of the Blues.

He told The Times the only motivation behind his offer was to "create a very fine club in London", although Friday's statement expands upon Ratcliffe's declaration of interest, pledging substantial investment "for the direct benefit of the club" over the next 10 years and to redevelop Stamford Bridge rather than build a new stadium.

The British billionaire has also said £2.5billion will go to a charitable trust to support victims of Russia's ongoing war on Ukraine after Roman Abramovich was placed under sanctions by the UK government last month.

"Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Chairman of INEOS, has made a formal bid for Chelsea FC, for £4.25billion. £2.5billion is committed to the Charitable Trust to support victims of the war, with £1.75billion committed to investment directly into the club over the next 10 years," the statement read.

"This is a British bid, for a British club. We believe that a club is bigger than its owners, who are temporary custodians of a great tradition, with responsibility to the fans and the community.  

"That is why we are committing to spending £1.75billion over 10 years that will be for the direct benefit of the club.

"We will invest in Stamford Bridge to make it a world-class stadium, befitting of Chelsea FC. This will be organic and ongoing so that we will not move away from the home of Chelsea and risk losing the support of loyal fans.  

"We will continue to invest in the team to ensure we have a first-class squad of the world's greatest players, coaches and support staff, in the men's and women's games, and we hope to continue to invest in the academy to provide opportunity for talented youngsters to develop into first class players. 

"We believe that London should have a club that reflects the stature of the city. One that is held in the same regard as Real Madrid, Barcelona or Bayern Munich. We intend Chelsea to be that club. 

"We are making this investment as fans of the beautiful game – not as a means to turn a profit. We do that with our core businesses. The club is rooted in its community and its fans. And it is our intention to invest in Chelsea FC for that reason.  

"No further comment will be made from Sir Jim or INEOS during the bidding process."  

Ratcliffe's offer is competing with bids from consortiums fronted by Todd Boehly, Martin Broughton and Stephen Pagliuca, as the Blues await an end to the uncertainty that has surrounded the club since Abramovich announced his intention to sell last month.

British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe claims to have made an offer to buy Chelsea, rivalling three existing takeover bids for the Stamford Bridge outfit.

Chelsea were put up for sale by Roman Abramovich in March ahead of the Russian oligarch being placed under sanctions by the UK government in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Three consortiums remain in the running after making their offers to buy the club public, fronted by Todd Boehly, Martin Broughton, and Stephen Pagliuca, with the latter of the trio recently receiving the support of the True Blues consortium, which counts former Chelsea captain John Terry among its members.

However, Ratcliffe, whose chemical group Ineos already has extensive sporting ties, courtesy of owning Ligue 1 side Nice and enjoying sponsorship deals with the Ineos Grenadiers cycling team and Formula One's Mercedes, has now told the Times of his attempt to purchase the Blues.

"We put an offer in this morning," Ratcliffe said on Friday. 

"We are the only British bid. Our motives are simply to try and create a very fine club in London. We have no profit motive because we make our money in other ways."

Ratcliffe also told the newspaper that his offer included a pledge to invest heavily in the club's team and infrastructure over the next decade, with a new stadium or redevelopment of Stamford Bridge featuring heavily in statements made by representatives of each competing bid.

On the pitch, Chelsea appear destined to finish third in the Premier League table, with boss Thomas Tuchel this week warning the club could suffer from a disadvantage in the transfer market if the uncertainty surrounding their ownership is not resolved swiftly.

The uncertainty surrounding the ownership of Chelsea is hampering the Blues' planning in the transfer market, says head coach Thomas Tuchel.

Chelsea were allowed to continue operating despite restrictions on owner Roman Abramovich, who put the club up for sale after being sanctioned by the UK government following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

However, the Blues are banned from signing new players or agreeing contract extensions with existing members of their squad as per the restrictions imposed.

Antonio Rudiger has already confirmed his intention to leave, with Real Madrid the favourites to sign the centre-back when his contract expires.

Meanwhile, fellow defender Andreas Christensen is reportedly to join Barcelona after the conclusion of his deal in June 2023, placing strain on Tuchel's squad before the upcoming season has even started.

It is not just the outgoings that are frustrating Chelsea, the Blues are falling behind in incomings with the likes of Arsenal and Manchester City moving for forwards Gabriel Jesus and Erling Haaland respectively.

Tuchel expressed his commitment but acknowledged Chelsea are already playing catch-up as they wait for the final bidder to be confirmed, and then cleared by the Premier League and government.

"[In a normal season], you are never fully sure but we would have some targets and we would have for sure contacted some players and found out about their situations," he said on Wednesday.

"Of course, now our hands are tied. We can still have talks inside the building but we cannot act. The situation is not ideal.

"It would be challenging enough with a stable situation but we don't have it. Everybody is doing it for the first time, we try to show our commitment and our passion for it.

"This is for me very important to give this message: I am committed, I am looking forward and I am passionate about it. As soon as we can act, we will try to act and turn things around.

"You could see we could not compete over the long run, we could compete in periods, we can compete in direct matches.

"I was so happy with the structure and mentality that Chelsea provides because for me that was the foundation to strongly believe we are capable and we will keep on pushing.

"With this now questioned, it is getting more demanding, not difficult because I don't know what's coming – but the thing for me is that we keep the mentality here in the building, the competitive mentality which was installed over a decade.

"This is a bit concerning and hopefully we can find our way through it."

Chelsea visit Manchester United on Thursday with third place in the Premier League all but secure, though they sit 15 points behind leaders Manchester City, who have played a game more.

Tuchel appreciates a sizeable rebuilding task will be required to compete with City and Liverpool next season, a challenge made more difficult due to the ongoing uncertainty.

Asked what was required to go head-to-head with City and Liverpool in the following campaign, Tuchel responded: "Cosmetic surgery! I would be less concerned if we had the same ownership and could rely on our structure.

"This is also a question. We are aware of the danger that the situation is maybe a bit more complex.

"And it can be complex enough if we lose a player like Toni and maybe lose another player like Andreas, their kind of quality and both of them free, that is demanding enough nowadays, to lose this kind of quality in a back three, lose two key players for free.

"It can be demanding enough even if everything else stays in place. So with this in question it can be a very demanding summer.

"I don't know if surgery is the right term for it but still I just want to be positive about it and speak to the things we can influence."

Lewis Hamilton is excited to be a part of Martin Broughton's consortium looking to purchase Chelsea.

Hamilton, 37, has earned nearly $500million in his Formula 1 career, and is teaming up with a number of wealthy businessmen and women – including Serena Williams – as one of three remaining bids for the club.

Hamilton and Williams will reportedly be chipping in $10m each in the offer, after plenty of discussion between the two sporting legends, as well as personal phone calls from Broughton.

Speaking to the media ahead of this weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Italy, Hamilton was overjoyed at the prospect of being involved with football at the highest level, and said his allegiance to Arsenal is no hindrance.

"I’ve been a football fan since I was a kid," he said. "I played since I was a kid, from four to 17 in teams every year.

"I played every year through childhood and went to numerous games, when I was young. I used to play football as a kid around the corner and I really wanted to fit in. I was the only kid of colour there.

"All the kids supported someone different, and I switched between these teams, and when I’d get home my sister would hit me, saying you have to support Arsenal. At five, six years old I supported Arsenal, but my uncle Terry is a big Blues fan, so I’ve been to so many games to watch Chelsea and Arsenal play. 

"Ultimately, [I’m] a sporting fan and Chelsea are one of the biggest clubs in the world. When I heard about this I thought, ‘Wow – what a great opportunity to be a part of'."

Hamilton went on to discuss his role in Williams' decision, confirming the two had discussed it together.

"We did speak about it, we were constantly in touch," he said. "She asked me my thoughts, and I told her I’ll be a part of it, and she decided to join.

"We were contacted and Sir Martin spoke to me on the phone, explaining his and his team’s goals if they were to win the bid – which was incredibly exciting, and very much aligned with my values. 

"When I was younger I was trying to actually play for a team – I tried out for Stevenage – but I ended up following racing. I could have only ever dreamed of being a part of the team, so that’s for me the most exciting thing."

Chelsea's hunt for new owners is down to three bidders after a consortium fronted by the Ricketts family withdrew from the race on Friday.

The Ricketts family, who own the Chicago Cubs baseball team, had grouped together with US billionaires Ken Griffin and Dan Gilbert.

But reports suggested members of the consortium have been unable to agree on the formalities of the bid.

"The Ricketts-Griffin-Gilbert Group has decided, after careful consideration, not to submit a final bid for Chelsea FC," a statement read.

"In the process of finalising their proposal, it became increasingly clear that certain issues could not be addressed given the unusual dynamics around the sales process.

"We have great admiration for Chelsea and its fans, and we wish the new owners well."

The bid had been met with widespread resistance over historical accusations of Islamophobia, with the Ricketts family saying it "rejects any form of hate in the strongest possible terms".

Reports in the UK media insisted the protests had nothing to do with the final decision not to launch a bid.

Chelsea were put up for sale by Roman Abramovich after the Russian oligarch was sanctioned by the UK government over his reported close ties to Russia president Vladimir Putin, who launched an attack on neighbouring Ukraine in February.

Offers to buy the club had to be submitted by Thursday at the latest and three parties remain in the hunt.

Groups fronted by Todd Boehly (part owner of the LA Dodgers), Martin Broughton (former British Airways and Liverpool chairman), and Steve Pagliuca (co-owner of the Boston Celtics and Atalanta) are fighting it out to complete a purchase.

A group featuring former Chelsea captain John Terry is supporting Stephen Pagliuca's bid to take over the Stamford Bridge outfit, with NBA chairman Larry Tanenbaum also involved.

A statement from the True Blues Consortium, which counts Terry and other former Blues players among its founders, expressed confidence in the ownership bid led by Pagliuca, who co-owns NBA outfit the Boston Celtics and Serie A side Atalanta.

Meanwhile, NBA chief Tanenbaum's involvement in the bid, which had been reported earlier this week, was confirmed by Pagliuca, who also praised the True Blues consortium for their public support.

The True Blues group, which announced an intention to bid for a minority stake in the club last month, has now announced its public support for the 67-year-old's takeover attempt. 

"Having engaged [with] and being well received by all the bidders, we were recently able to spend some time with Steve and Larry," the group said in a statement released to Sky News. 

"Getting to know their bid, we're again confident that they are aligned with Chelsea fans, and of course, have experience in this area of owning sports teams.

"We feel the club are in a fortunate position with the final bidders and look forward to continuing dialogue with them."

Pagliuca spoke publicly about his ownership bid for the first time on Tuesday, pledging never to involve the club in a revived European Super League and suggesting that a redevelopment of Stamford Bridge or a new stadium would also feature in his plans.

The 67-year-old, who is the co-owner of American private investment firm Bain Capital, followed up with another statement on Wednesday, thanking the True Blues group for their support. 

"The group welcomes the endorsement and support of the True Blues Consortium, an organisation dedicated to Chelsea FC and focused on representing fan interests for the club," the statement read, as reported by ESPN.

Confirming Tanenbaum's involvement, Pagliuca called the NBA chief "a world-class individual, who is highly regarded in the global sports community."

He added: "His experience in sports governance, his long-term perspective, and civil construction expertise are tremendous assets for our group."

Pagliuca also pledged to operate "quietly, with integrity" if he succeeds in taking over Roman Abramovich's ownership of the club, confirming a bid will be formally made this week.

"This process has been a disconcerting time for the football club and fans," he continued. "Throughout my life and career, my ethos has always been to operate quietly, with integrity, and let my actions and results speak loudly.

"However, it is imperative to clarify and assure supporters about our bid group and its commitments, to emphasise how seriously we take our potential responsibility to Chelsea.

"Later this week we will submit a substantial and credible bid proposal – one that we expect will meet the respective requirements and regulations of the Premier League, UK Government and UEFA – and we pledge to honour our commitment to credibility and good guardianship of Chelsea Football Club from day one."

Stephen Pagliuca has pledged to keep Chelsea out of any new plans for a European Super League should his bid for the club prove to be a success.

Pagliuca is one of the interested parties in buying Chelsea, with the club up for sale after Roman Abramovich was sanctioned following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

On Monday, it was reported that NBA chairman Larry Tanenbaum and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin had agreed to back Pagliuca's bid, which is one of four proposals to have made a final shortlist, with the deadline for final offers to be made set for April 14.

Pagliuca had not previously commented publicly on his move to purchase the club but has now outlined his intentions for Chelsea in a statement released to Sky News.

High up in his statement, Pagliuca made specific reference to turning down any offer to be in a Super League, with Chelsea having been one of the 12 sides involved in the breakaway proposal in April 2021.

"Throughout my life and career, my ethos has always been to operate quietly, with integrity, and let my actions and results speak loudly," the statement read.

"However, it is imperative to clarify and assure supporters about our bid group and its commitments, to emphasize how seriously we take our potential responsibility to Chelsea.

"Our first focus and goal is to make strategic investments to continue competing for championships and trophies.

"We will support our players and managers to make sure that Chelsea are habitual winners and title contenders, whether in the Premier League, Champions League or the Women's Super League, the only Super League we intend competing in, for the record.

"In addition, we will continue to invest in the youth academy to develop the stars of the future and we would not be in this process if we did not have an exciting and inclusive vision for Chelsea."

Pagliuca also stressed that there would be no plans to alter Chelsea's colours, name or logo, while suggesting a new stadium - or the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge - would also be on the agenda.

"Chelsea is a world-class team, in a world-class city, with world-class fans: it deserves a world-class stadium," he said, before emphasising the importance of the club's community endeavours.

Paul Pogba's time at Manchester United is set to come to an end when his contract expires at the end of this season.

The France international arrived at Old Trafford in a £93million deal in August 2016, which at the time broke the record for most expensive transfer in the history of world football.

But after six seasons, Pogba appears destined for pastures new, and a giant from Ligue 1 is looking to win the race to his signature.

 

TOP STORY – PSG MAKE POGBA A PRIORITY

Paris Saint-Germain are looking to bring Pogba home to France, and are making him a "priority signing", according to Footmercato.

With the football world anticipating the exit of Kylian Mbappe from the French giants, there will be money to spend, and with Pogba available on a free transfer, his personal terms are reportedly "not so high".

In an injury-interrupted campaign, Pogba has played 18 Premier League matches this season, scoring one goal and providing nine assists.

 

ROUND-UP

Arsenal are targeting Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves, according to Sky Sports.

– El Confidencial is reporting Manchester City are ready to trigger the €60m release clause for Real Sociedad midfielder Mikel Merino.

– According to Goal, Pep Guardiola is interested in bringing River Plate midfielder Enzo Fernandez to Manchester City after signing team-mate Julian Alvarez in January.

– Calciomercato is reporting that Juventus are entering the race for Ajax's Brazilian winger Antony, who also has interest from Bayern Munich and Manchester United.

Tottenham want to convert Dejan Kulusevski's loan deal into a permanent signing, in a move that will likely cost €35m, per Calciomercato.

– NBA chairman Larry Tanenbaum and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin have joined a consortium with Boston Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca in a bid to buy Chelsea, according to The Daily Mirror.

The Ricketts family have pledged to never involve Chelsea in a European Super League, in a statement released by the prospective buyers of the West London club.

Chelsea were one of six Premier League sides to sign up to the ill-fated launch of the Super League in April 2021, with Stamford Bridge the scene of fierce fan protests after the club's involvement was announced.

The Ricketts family, who own Major League Baseball outfit the Chicago Cubs, are looking to buy the club after owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK government last month.

Furthermore, the family pledged to put diversity and inclusion "at the heart" of their prospective regime after their bid was subject to protests from Chelsea fans.

A statement containing a list of eight "specific commitments" has been released by the family in an attempt to persuade supporters of their ability to protect Chelsea's heritage and build for future success.

"Over the past fortnight, the Ricketts Family has met with several Chelsea supporter groups and carefully listened to all their feedback," the statement began.

"As we enter the next phase of the process, we are sharing a list of specific commitments that give fans a pivotal role in protecting Chelsea's heritage and building for future success.

"We will continue to discuss our ambitions for the club with fans and the wider football community in the coming days."

The first of the eight commitments made by the family pledged never to make changes to the club's name, badge, or colours without the consent of supporters, while point two addressed future participation in a revived Super League.

The prospective buyers promised to "never participate in a European Super League and always protect the integrity and heritage of Chelsea Football Club."

Chelsea Technical Director Petr Cech was forced to confront angry protesters outside the club's stadium last April, with hundreds of fans gathering to demand the Blues' withdrawal from the short-lived project. 

Meanwhile, point four on the list of commitments addressed concerns around diversity and inclusivity, with a "NoToRicketts" campaign gaining traction on social media after accusations of Islamophobia were made against family head Joe Ricketts.

A recent poll by the Chelsea Supporters trust found that 72% of respondents did not have confidence that the family would "run an inclusive and successful club", after Ricketts referred to Muslims as his "enemy" in a 2019 email.

The statement, however, promised that the family would "put diversity and inclusion at the heart of the club and fight against any form of discrimination or inequality" if the bid was successful.

Several other promises were made, relating to investment in the first team, exploring the potential redevelopment of Stamford Bridge, and increasing funding for Chelsea Women.

The list also pledged the creation of an "advisory committee" featuring former players, fans' representatives and community leaders to be involved in the club's decision-making processes. 

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