Roman Abramovich and the UK Government have reportedly found an agreement to push ahead with the sale of Chelsea football club after he was sanctioned for his close ties with President Vladimir Putin following invasion of Ukraine.
Sportsmail revealed earlier on Friday that Downing Street had opened negotiations with the Russian billionaire’s advisers over the terms of the sale, which he is eager to push through as quickly as possible.
It came after the club were handed a sporting licence to continue with their football-related activities, but any sale of the club was put on hold.
Now according to The Daily Telegraph, the two parties are striking a deal in a major boost to the west London outfit.
The Government regards a quick sale as the best outcome for Chelsea and its fans, but for that to happen Abramovich would have to agree to writing off loans of over £1.5billion without receiving any of the proceeds.
The report is claiming Abramovich has instructed The Raine Group – the American bank that paused the sale after the Russian was sanctioned on Thursday due to his reported links to Vladimir Putin – to continue the process of completing a takeover.
The same outlet also claims a deadline of the end of next week – pushed back from Tuesday – has been set for prospective new buyers’ first bids to be submitted, with Abramovich now hoping for a rapid sale and Raine hoping it attracts more bidders.
However, The Telegraph also add a so-called ‘doomsday’ scenario is also a possible eventuality and could come become reality if Abramovich cannot sell and the sporting licence is not amended to allow more less stringent terms.
British billionaire Nick Candy has confirmed in recent days he is still pursuing a bid for the club.
The 49-year-old property developer is a Chelsea fan, who is planning to attend Sunday’s Premier League home match against Newcastle and has pledged to put supporters at the centre of his plans for the club that will be jointly-funded with American investors.
‘We are examining the details of the announcement and we are still interested in making a bid,’ a spokesperson for Candy told Sportsmail.
‘Clearly this is a time of great uncertainty for all Chelsea fans. In our view no one is the owner of a football club – you are the custodian of it for the fans and the community.’