British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe has
made a late 4.25 billion pounds ($5.3 billion) bid to buy Premier League club
Chelsea, his company Ineos confirmed on Friday. The club’s Russian owner Roman
put the Blues up for sale on March 2 before the UK government
imposed a sanction on him in the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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It is believed that the deal is going to be
closed soon, with New York bank the Raine Group handling the process for

Ratcliffe’s offer is the biggest so far
for the London club, according to a Reuters report.

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Ratcliffe is the founder and owner of
chemicals major Ineos, which is the sponsor of British cycling’s Team Ineos.

In 2019, the 69-year-old had put a bid
for Chelsea, but later changed his mind and bought French club Nice instead.

British bid for a British club

“This is a British bid, for a
British club,” an Ineos statement said. “We will invest in Stamford
Bridge to make it a world-class stadium, befitting of Chelsea FC.

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“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.

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“And we hope to continue to invest
in the academy to provide opportunity for talented youngsters to develop into
first class players.”

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Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd
Boehly, former Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton and Boston Celtics co-owner
Steve Pagliuca are the other three consortiums bidding to buy the 2021
Champions League winners.

“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,” the Ineos statement said.