Final bids are being prepared for European champion Chelsea and new business figures are being added to consortia as the process to end the ownership of sanctioned Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich steps up.
Four known bids are still under consideration to buy Chelsea, which could be sold for 3 billion pounds ($4 billion) given the interest that has emerged since Abramovich put the west London Premier League club up for sale six weeks ago.
Steve Pagliuca, co-owner of the NBA’s Boston Celtics, went public for the first time on Tuesday to confirm his plans to become a Premier League team owner that could see him have to relinquish his 55% controlling stake in Serie A team Atalanta.
The American cannot control two clubs playing in the same UEFA-organized European competition, though Atalanta is not in qualifying contention for next season.
“Later this week, we will submit a substantial and credible bid proposal,” Pagliuca said in a statement. “One that we expect will meet the respective requirements and regulations of the Premier League, UK Government and UEFA — and we pledge to honor our commitment to credibility and good guardianship of Chelsea Football Club from day one.”
Another bid, which is led by Chicago Cubs baseball owner Tom Ricketts, has been shrouded in criticism over Islamophobic comments by his father, Joe, that featured in leaked emails three years ago. The Ricketts family has been working to distance itself from the patriarch, and another business leader was announced on Tuesday as a new leading figure involved in the bid.
Karan Bilimoria, a Chelsea fan who founded the Cobra beer company in west London in 1989 and sits in the House of Lords, will become a director of the club if the Ricketts bid is successful, and serve as an ambassador.
“Tom and the…