Chelsea sale: Sir Jim Ratcliffe bid ‘rejected out of hand’ by Roman Abramovich’s bankers
Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s bid for Chelsea has been “rejected out of hand”, according to senior figures at his business the Ineos Group.
The British petrochemicals billionaire made an 11th-hour offer for the Premier League club last week which comprised £2.5bn plus a commitment to invest a further £1.75bn.
But Ratcliffe has indicated that he is unwilling to give up on a possible world record deal for a sports team.
“We’ve been rejected out of hand by Raine [the US bank selling Chelsea] but we will keep reminding people we are still here,” Ineos director for corporate affairs and communications Tom Crotty told Bloomberg.
Since announcing his offer on Friday, Ratcliffe has held talks with Chelsea fans’ groups about his plans for the club should he buy it from Roman Abramovich.
The 69-year-old, estimated to be worth £11.9bn, previously deemed English football clubs to be overpriced, with his brother Bob calling valuations “a bit silly”.
But Crotty said: “Now the numbers look more sensible.”
He added: We will continue to engage with the fanbase. We see ourselves as a fan-based bid.”
Sir Jim is a Manchester United supporter but holds a Chelsea season ticket. He owns French football club Nice as well as the Ineos Grenadiers cycling team and has bankrolled British sailor Sir Ben Ainslie’s bid to win the America’s Cup.
A consortium led by Todd Boehly, co-owner of Major League Baseball’s LA Dodgers, is the frontrunner to buy Chelsea from Abramovich.
Boehly’s group was granted a period of exclusivity to conclude a deal, which runs until the end of this week, after being named preferred bidder by the Raine Group.
It beat competition from bids led by former British Airways chairman Sir Martin Broughton and Steve Pagliuca, the co-owner of NBA basketball team the Boston Celtics.
Abramovich is not permitted to receive any of the proceeds from the sale of the club due to his sanctioning by the UK government.