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Chelsea supporters group slam ‘universally disdained’ offer from Ricketts family

The Ricketts family are facing further backlash in their bid to buy Chelsea after a supporters group claimed their offer for the club has been received with ‘universal disdain’ and that their values to do not align with those of the club.

The owners of the Chicago Cubs baseball team delivered ‘a comprehensive offering’ for the club shortly before 8pm UK time on Friday, more than an hour before the deadline set by merchant bank Raine, who are handling the sale.

Tom Ricketts, 56, chairman of the Cubs, is fronting the bid being co-financed by Ken Griffin, 53, who runs a Chicago-based hedge fund, Citadel, and has a fortune of around £20bn.

But the head of the Chelsea Chicago Supporters Club, Brian Wolff – who is also a Cubs season-ticket holder – has warned a Ricketts family takeover would spell bad news for the club.

The fan group have raised doubts about whether the family could deliver more success on the pitch, and claim that the club remaining at their Stamford Bridge home could even come under threat.

Mr Wolff also cited the controversies regarding their political beliefs – as well as their redevelopment of the Cubs’ stadium Wrigley Field, the project for which Tom Ricketts said at one stage had gone ‘around 100%’ over budget – as reasons for concern.

‘As the Head of Chelsea Chicago Supporters Club, and the Chelsea Fans’ Forum Overseas Representative, I’ve had a unique position hearing what supporters in Chicago and worldwide have said regarding the Ricketts family’s bid for Chelsea,’ he wrote in a statement posted on Twitter.

‘I can report the vast majority of opinion has been of universal disdain.

Tom Ricketts and his family have come under further scrutiny in their bid to buy Chelsea

Chelsea Chicago Supporters Club head Brian Wolff claims a Ricketts family takeover would spell bad news for the club

Chelsea Chicago Supporters Club head Brian Wolff claims a Ricketts family takeover would spell bad news for the club

‘The Ricketts’ political donations, fundraising and support for candidates who do not share the inclusive views of Chelsea Football Club and its supporters are wholly inconsistent with 19 years of fantastic work done by the club and the Chelsea Foundation, most notably as a leader in committing to a living wage and efforts to protect and promote equality for BAME and LGBTQ+ communities.

‘Their ownership of Chicago Cubs baseball and redevelopment of Wrigley Field raises serious doubts whether they will build upon the club’s success on the pitch, and also the continued existence of the Chelsea Pitch Owners and the goal to keep Chelsea Football Club playing at Stamford Bridge at our forever home.

‘On behalf of countless supporters worldwide, I urge you to reject their bid for ownership of Chelsea Football Club in favour of others who will commit to not only building upon the last two decades of investment in players and infrastructure, but equally important, the investment in supporters and the values we hold dear.’

The statement comes after their father Joe Ricketts came under fire for saying ‘muslims are my enemy’ in 2012.

Leaked emails from 2012 resurfaced last week where their 80-year-old father made a number of controversial comments about race – saying ‘Muslims are my enemy’, describing Islam as a ‘cult’ and laughing at racist jokes.

Ricketts, 56, chairman of the Cubs, is fronting the Blues bid being co-financed by Ken Griffin

 Ricketts, 56, chairman of the Cubs, is fronting the Blues bid being co-financed by Ken Griffin

Roman Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale on March 2 amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine

Roman Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale on March 2 amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

But it appears the Ricketts, as well as another US bid from a Todd Boehly-led consortium, are among the frontrunners to become the new owners of Chelsea.

London property developer Nick Candy on Monday night increased his consortium’s offer for Chelsea to more than £2.5billion after receiving additional backing from an unnamed South Korean group.

Candy’s Blue Football Consortium are understood to have submitted proof of funds to the Raine Group, who are in the process of whittling down around 50 initial bids to a shortlist of three or four. 

Former oil trader and venture capitalist Bob Finch, hedge fund manager and real estate investor Jonathan Lourie, along with Nizam Al-Bassam, the co-founder of asset management firm Centricus, and its CEO Garth Ritchie have also emerged as contenders to take over from Abramovich.

The potential buyers have been told to expect notification of the shortlisted bids later this week in what is developing into a competitive auction.

Following Raine’s initial shortlist, bids will be passed on to Chelsea to identify a preferred bidder, with chairman Bruce Buck and director Marina Granovskaia expected to lead that process given owner Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned.

The Ricketts' father Joe (pictured) also said 'muslims are my enemy' in leaked emails

The Ricketts’ father Joe (pictured) also said ‘muslims are my enemy’ in leaked emails  



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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk