Chelsea takeover LIVE: Ricketts family through to next round, Seb Coe LATEST, Lukaku 'says goodbye to team-mates'

TOM RICKETTS still faces an uphill battle convincing Chelsea fans he can run the club to their liking.

The controversial American was notified on Friday night that his family’s offer has made it onto the shortlist of candidates to buy the £3billion-rated Blues

Leaked emails from Ricketts’ father Joe in which he claims Muslims are ‘my natural enemy’ triggered a frosty reaction.

Ricketts said: “My family and I are very grateful to all the fans and supporters’ groups who took time to meet with us this week and share their passion and concerns for Chelsea Football Club. 

“It’s clear you have nothing but the best interests of the club at heart.

“We have listened to all of your feedback – including from the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust – and are grateful that the door is still open for us to demonstrate our commitment to working with fans to protect the club’s heritage.

Meanwhile, the club will be allowed to sell tickets for away games and the FA Cup semi-final against Crystal Palace at Wembley.

However, tickets for matches at Stamford Bridge will only be available to season ticket holders and away fans.

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  • Joshua Jones

    Good morning to Chelsea fans

    Boston Celtics owner Stephen Pagliuca has also made it on to the shortlist of potential Chelsea owners.

    Pagliuca also owns Italian football team Atalanta and is the fourth bidder to make the cut.

    He joins Tom Ricketts, Todd Boehly and Sir Martin Broughton in the next round of bidding for the Blues.

    However, Tom Ricketts still faces an uphill battle convincing fans he can run the club to their liking.

    A statement from the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust read: “The Chelsea Supporters' Trust is grateful to the Ricketts family for meeting with us this week. We challenged them on all the points supporters have raised concerns about.

    “However, our concerns about their ability to run an inclusive, successful club on behalf of our diverse supporter base around the world have not yet been allayed.”

    But Chelsea’s board – not the Raine Group – will reportedly decide who will become the Blues’ new owner.

    The Raine Group have played a key role thus far whittling down the large swathe of wannabe owners down to just four prospects.

    But it’s been reported that they are just advising Chelsea’s board which is composed of Marina Granovskaia, Bruce Buck, Eugene Tenenbaum and David Barnard.

    The Blues’ owner debacle could be sorted by the end of April, reports claim.

    Raine Group have told all potential owners that they may reach a decision over the Blues sale next month, according to the Evening Standard.

    And finally, Roman Abramovich may not be around for the sale of the club as he’s allegedly playing the mediator between Russian president Vladimir Putin and his American adversary Joe Biden in Poland.

    The oligarch took the train to Poland on Thursday using his Portuguese passport, reports claim.

    TVN reporter Jakob Stachowiak said on social media: “Yesterday he came to Poland in secret from Ukraine by the smart train.

    “Interestingly, he used a Portuguese passport. Perhaps there will be an informal meeting with the president. Has Putin sent a billionaire?

    “The oligarch got to Poland from the territory of Ukraine, where he was allegedly talking to President Volodymir Zelensky.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    Who will make final decision

    Chelsea's board – not the Raine Group will reportedly decide who will becoming the Blues' new owner.

    The Raine Group have played a key role thus far whittling down the large swathe of wannabe owners down to just four prospects.

    But it's been reported that they are just advising Chelsea's board which is compiled of Marina Granovskaia, Bruce Buck, Eugene Tenenbaum and David Barnard.

  • Justin Lawrence

    Abramovich plays peacemaker

    Roman Abramovich has reportedly travelled to Poland to mediate between Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden.

    The oligarch took the train to Poland on Thursday using his Portuguese passports, reports claim.

    TVN reporter Jakob Stachowiak said on social media: "Yesterday he came to Poland in secret from Ukraine by the smart train.

    "Interestingly, he used a Portuguese passport. Perhaps there will be an informal meeting with the president. Has Putin sent a billionaire?

    "The oligarch got to Poland from the territory of Ukraine, where he was allegedly talking to President Volodymir Zelensky."

  • Justin Lawrence

    Fourth to go

    Boston Celtics owner Stephen Pagliuca has also made it onto the shortlist.

    Pagliuca also owns Italian football team Atalanta and is the fourth bidder to make the cut.

    He joins Tom Ricketts, Todd Boehly and Sir Martin Broughton in the next round of bidding for the Blues.

  • Justin Lawrence

    Ricketts ongoing battle

    Tom Ricketts still faces an uphill battle convincing fans he can run the club to their liking.

    A statement from the Chelsea Supporters' Trust read: "The Chelsea Supporters Trust is grateful to the Ricketts family for meeting with us this week. We challenged them on all the points supporters have raised concerns about.

    "However, our concerns about their ability to run an inclusive, successful club on behalf of our diverse supporter base around the world have not yet been allayed."

  • Justin Lawrence

    Ricketts in next round

    Tom Ricketts is through to round two of the Chelsea bidding war after meeting fans on his charm offensive to win their backing.

    The controversial American was notified on Friday night that his family’s offer has made it onto the shortlist of candidates to buy the £3billion-rated Premier League side.

    And Ricketts is now on his way back to the US following talks with supporters’ groups in London aimed at calming fears over an historic racism storm.

  • Justin Lawrence

    Alonso wants La Liga transfer

    Marcos Alonso has admitted that he would like to return to LaLiga one day.

    The Chelsea defender will have just one year remaining on his current contract this summer.

    Quizzed about a potential transfer while on international duty, the Spaniard said: "I would love to play in LaLiga, all my life I have wanted to play and be here in Spain, but the circumstances have been different and not everything has depended on me.

    "At the moment I am focused on this season and what has to be, will be."

  • Justin Lawrence

    Unknown bidder in the race

    An unknown bidder has emerged as a front-runner to buy Chelsea.

    Todd Boehly and Sir Martin Broughton are the two parties leading the race to buy the Blues with the Ricketts family still in the mix.

    However, there's an anonymous potential buyer in the running, according to the BBC.

  • Justin Lawrence

    Chelsea owner race heats up

    Chelsea will have new owners by the end of April, reports claim.

    Raine Group have told all potential owners that they may reach a decision over the Blues sale next month, according to the Evening Standard.

    Sir Martin Broughton and Todd Boehly were informed that they will progress to the next stage of bidding.

    However, The Ricketts family were still awaiting confirmation, but are positive they will also be in the running going forward.

  • Justin Lawrence

    Hazard's scheduled surgery

    Real Madrid star Eden Hazard looks likely to miss the chance to play old club Chelsea in the Champions League due to injury.

    Real head to Stamford Bridge for the Champions League quarter finals clash on April 6.

    But Hazard is scheduled to have leg surgery that will probably rule him out of the game.

    A club statement read: "In the coming days, our player, Eden Hazard, will undergo surgery to remove the osteosynthesis plate in his right fibula.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    Ricketts family issue statement

    The Ricketts family have released a statement that they're still keen on buying Chelsea.

    The family addressed Blues fans in the statement and stated that they had listened to the West London club's supporters fears.

    Tom Ricketts said: "My family and I are very grateful to all of the fans and supporters' groups who took time to meet with us this week and share their passion and concerns for Chelsea Football Club.

    "It's clear you have nothing but the best interests of the club at heart. We have listened to all of your feedback – including from the Chelsea Supporters' Trust – and are grateful that the door is still open for us to demonstrate our commitment to working with fans to protect the club's heritage.

    "It is now up to us to redouble our efforts and clearly lay out a vision for our stewardship of the club with diversity and inclusion at its heart."

  • Justin Lawrence

    Capello slams Lukaku and Abraham's ability

    Fabio Capello has suggested the arrivals of Romelu Lukaku and Tammy Abraham in the Serie A highlights the decline of Italy's homegrown talent.

    Capello claims there are not enough young Italian players coming through the ranks in the Serie A.

    And he reckons the successes of 'average' Abraham this season with Roma and Lukuka with Inter in the last campaign shows how poor the quality of the Italian league is.

    As both players have been average in the Premier League.

    Capello said to Sky Sports Italy: "There are not enough young Italian players, but there is a wrong idea at its base. We are the country of the back pass to the goalkeeper.

    "Victor Osimhen, Romelu Lukaku and Tammy Abraham were just normal strikers abroad. They became champions in Italy. This should raise some questions."

  • Sam Dymond

    Chelsea supporters worried by Ricketts

    Chelsea fans have mobilised on social media this week in their protestation against the Ricketts family's proposed takeover of their football club, and now the Chelsea Supporters Trust have issued a statement of concern too.

    Following the unease with which the news of the Ricketts' official offer was greeted, the family met with the Chelsea Supporters Trust earlier this week to discuss their intentions.

    However, it is understood that fans' initial concerns have not been appeased, resulting in this afternoon's correspondence.

    The statement reads: "It is essential that the new owners of the club has the confidence of the supporter base and demonstrate an understanding of the values that we stand for.

    “That is why the strength of feeling towards the Ricketts family bid from Chelsea supporters cannot and must not be ignored.

    “The CST are grateful to the Ricketts family for meeting with us this week. We challenged them on all the points supporters have raised concerns about.

    “However, our concerns about their ability to run an inclusive, successful club on behalf of our diverse supporter base around the world have not yet been allayed.”

    Credit: @ChelseaSTrust Twitter
  • Sam Dymond

    Ziyech has overcome system struggle

    Hakim Ziyech has admitted that it took him time to adjust to Thomas Tuchel's preferred system when the German arrived, but now the once-struggling Moroccan is thriving.

    The former Ajax man was brought to Stamford Bridge as a winger in 2020, and operated mainly on the right under Frank Lampard's management.

    However, since Tuchel took charge, The Blues have often set up with three centre-halves and two wing-backs, meaning that Ziyech has played most of his football in a central position.

    In an interview with ChelseaTV (via 90Min), Ziyech revealed: "[The system] affects me, of course.

    "Everybody knows that if I play wide, it's my best position. When we play four at the back, most of the time I play on the right.

    "When we play a back five, we play a different system. I think during the time since [Tuchel] came, I've adapted well.

    "I think I had more problems that most of the players because I'd never played with a back five. I needed some time and I took that time to adapt, to learn from it and to improve.

    "I think in that role, things are much better now than in the beginning."

  • Sam Dymond

    Takeover latest: Some Candy talking

    Nick Candy's offer to purchase Chelsea has not made Raine Group's official shortlist – but the property developer may yet be in with a chance of being part of the club's ownership.

    According to the BBC's Alistair Magowan, Candy's Blue Football Consortium have claimed that they have been asked to speak to other bidders and that those talks are now underway.

    The bids from the consortiums led by Todd Boehly and Sir Martin Broughton are understood to be the frontrunners to takeover at Stamford Bridge.

  • Sam Dymond

    Cup semi-final date confirmed

    The date for Chelsea's FA Cup semi-final with Crystal Palace has been officially confirmed this morning.

    The Blues will face the The Eagles at Wembley on Sunday, 17 April with the game scheduled to kick-off at 4.30pm.

    Following successful talks between the government and the football club, Chelsea will be allowed to sell tickets to supporters for the showpiece semi.

    Manchester City will face Liverpool in the FA Cup's other semi-final with that game taking place the previous say at 3.30pm.

  • Sam Dymond

    Azpi has choice to make

    Cesar Azpilicueta is unsure whether to stay at Chelsea or sign for Barcelona, according to reports.

    Azpilicueta, 32, could leave the club for free this summer and has already snubbed several offers from the Blues to extend his deal.

    The Express claims that the club captain is still torn on what he should do next.

    The Spanish star 'feels deeply rooted' in London and is 'proud' to have been Chelsea skipper since 2019.

    But he has been offered an initial two-year deal at Barcelona and the lure of going back to his motherland.

    Azpilicueta has refused to commit to either Chelsea or Catalonia as he decides.

    Speaking at a press conference whilst on international duty, the wing-back said: "My future? It’s not the place or time to discuss it.

  • Sam Dymond

    Boehly will bring in Mahrez

    Todd Boehly's consortium will take over at Stamford Bridge this summer – and immediately pinch Riyad Mahrez from Manchester City.

    That's the latest suggestion from the rumour mill should the American businessman's bid prove successful.

    Boehly is said to be worth £5billion, and his offer is backed by Clearlake Capital, who have assets worth over £60billion.

    And the prospective new owners want to make a statement by taking a star player from one of their Premier League rivals.

    Despite Mahrez's sensational form for City, the Algerian has been repeatedly linked with a move away with just over a year to run on his contract.

    Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and Real Madrid are also said to be interested in the forward.

  • Sam Dymond

    Lukaku linked with PSG move

    Paris Saint-Germain could be about to end Romelu Lukaku's Chelsea nightmare.

    The Belgian hitman has endured a torrid time since returning to Stamford Bridge last summer.

    Despite arriving for £100m, the 28-year-old has managed just 12 goals in 34 appearances, and now appears second-choice behind Kai Havertz.

    Lukaku has previously attempted to manoeuvre a move back to Inter Milan, having publicly aired his unhappiness at Chelsea during a misguided interview with Sky Italia.

    And now, according to Caught Offside, big-spending PSG are plotting a move for the striker as they look to revamp their attacking options in the close season.

  • Sam Dymond

    Ricketts family 'confident' of making shortlist

    Sky Sports report that the Ricketts family are still in the running to buy Chelsea.

    The owners of the Chicago Cubs are said to be 'confident' of joining Sir Martin Broughton and Todd Boehly on the shortlist currently being drawn up by Raine Group.

    The suggestion will be a concern to Blues supporters who have made their thoughts on the prospective American owners clear.

    Chelsea fans have mobilised on social media in recent days using the hashtag #NoToRicketts.

  • Sam Dymond

    Boehly and Broughton the preferred bidders

    It now seems apparent that Raine Group's favoured candidates for Chelsea ownership are the bids from consortiums led by Todd Boehly and Sir Martin Broughton.

    Several news sources are reporting that the two parties are the names at the head of the merchant bank's shortlist.

    The Guardian's football correspondent Jacob Steinberg has tweeted that Boehly and Broughton are the preferred bidders, but there has been 'no clarity' on the offers from Nick Candy and the Ricketts family.

    The bid from Saudi Media Group was said to have been ruled out last night.

  • Sam Dymond

    Hop, skip and out for Italy's Jorginho

    Chelsea's Jorginho says he will be 'haunted for life' by the penalty misses that subsequently cost Italy a place at the 2022 World Cup.

    The midfielder – a so-called spotkick expert – twice missed from 12 yards in crucial group games against Switzerland, condemning the Azzurri to the play-offs.

    The 30-year-old broke down in tears after last night's last-gasp defeat to North Macedonia. In an interview with RAI Sport (via Football Italia), Jorginho blubbed: “It hurts when I think about it because I do still think about it and it will haunt me for the rest of my life.

    “Stepping up there twice and not being able to help your team and your country is something that I will carry with me forever, and it weighs on me.

    "People say we need to lift our heads and carry on, but it’s tough.”

  • Sam Dymond

    Boehly bid for Blues successful

    Todd Boehly's consortium is among the frontrunners to buy Chelsea Football Club.

    The American philanthropist was supposedly informed yesterday that his offer had made it on to the shortlist currently being devised by the Raine Group.

    That's the understanding of The Times, and you expect they would know – their columnist, the Tory peer, Daniel Finkelstein is part of Boehly's consortium.

    The Raine Group are yet to make an official announcement.

  • Sam Dymond

    Good morning Chelsea fans

    Seb Coe is among the frontrunners as the race to buy Chelsea hots up.

    The Olympic track legend and diehard Blues fan is part of a consortium going head-to-head with American Todd Boehly.

    Nick Candy is the latest Chelsea bidder who has been ruled out of buying the club.

    Blues fan Candy along with Woody Johnson haven’t been shortlisted as potential buyers, according to The Athletic.

    The news comes just hours after the Saudi Media Group was also ruled of the bidding.

    Meanwhile, Chelsea could take TWO YEARS to recover from being sold by Roman Abramovich.

    That’s according to The Mirror who claim the Blues’ rivals reckon the West Londoners will need time to recover from the effects of Abramovich selling up.

    This is because the Blues’ peers feel whoever comes in next will need time to adapt and spending will have be reigned in.

    The Mirror also state there are doubts over whether a joint ownership model would work as well as a single owner like Abramovich did at the helm.

    Elsewhere, Chelsea will lobby the Government to lift its bizarre ban on them selling tickets to home Premier League games.

    The club is baffled by the decision to single out home league matches when they now have the go-ahead to flog seats at Champions League games.

    Chelsea plans to go back to the Government to seek further guidance and clarification in the hope of a U-turn.

    Fans have reacted angrily to the confusing move by the Government.

    Finally, Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger wants to speak to the new Manchester United manager before deciding on his future.

    BILD journalist Christian Falk believes the German international would be open to a move to Old Trafford, but first wants to hear from the club’s new coach on their vision for the coming seasons.

  • Justin Lawrence

    Rudiger’s transfer plans revealed

    Chelsea star Antonio Rudiger would only consider a move to Manchester United if he spoke to the new permanent manager first, reports suggest.

    According to Bild’s Christian Falk, the centre-back won’t make any decisions regarding his future before the Champions League quarter-final matches against Real Madrid.

    Falk tweeted: “[Rudiger] will make no decision before the Matches against ⁦[Real Madrid] about his future.

    “He hopes on the one hand that the difficult situation at ⁦[Chelsea]⁩ will be cleared up. On the other hand: Real is also still interested.”

    He added: “A decision about a future of [Rudiger] at [United] is difficult. Rudiger would like to Talk with the new Coach before…”

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