The Ricketts family has pulled out of the running to become Chelsea’s new owner, leaving three proposals under consideration.
The Chicago Cubs owners were one of four parties interested in purchasing Chelsea from Roman Abramovich, but have now withdrawn their interest citing the ‘unusual dynamics around the sales process’.
Final bids were submitted to The Raine Group, the US bank handling the sale, on Thursday, though the Ricketts family – who had teamed up with Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and hedge fund tycoon Ken Griffin – did not submit a final bid and have released a statement confirming their withdrawal.
“The Ricketts-Griffin-Gilbert group has decided, after careful consideration, not to submit a final bid for Chelsea FC,” the statement said.
“In the process of finalising the 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 Ricketts family had received objection from Chelsea fans following the reveal of Islamophobic emails sent by the head of the family, Joe, back in 2019.
The Athletic are reporting, however, that this was not a reason behind their withdrawal and that Joe had no involvement either at the Chicago Cubs or in the bid for Chelsea.
The trio of remaining bidders include LA Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly and Steve Pagliuca, the owner of the Boston Celtics. A British-based consortium fronted by Lord Sebastien Coe and Sir Martin Broughton, the former Liverpool and British Airways chairman, is also in contention.