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UK richest man Jim Ratcliffe reveals interest on Chelsea amid Abramovich sale rumours

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Sir Jim Ratcliffe previously opened up on why he did not buy Chelsea amid reports Roman Abramovich is now looking to sell the club

The UK’s richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe has already explained why he is yet to buy an English club amid reports Roman Abramovich is trying to sell Chelsea.

Abramovich, who on Saturday announced that he was going to hand the “stewardship and care” of Chelsea to the club’s charitable foundation, has offered four people the chance to buy the Blues, according to Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss.

In an interview with Blick about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine the 86-year-old said that he is interested but is “four or five days” from being in a clearer position. He would be unable to buy the club himself and would need to form a six or seven person consortium.

He told Blick: “[Abramovich] wants to get rid of Chelsea quickly. I and three other people received an offer on Tuesday to buy Chelsea from Abramovich.

“I have to wait four to five days now. Abramovich is currently asking far too much. You know, Chelsea owe him £2billion [it is £1.5billion]. But Chelsea has no money. That means: those who buy Chelsea should compensate Abramovich.

“As of today, we don’t know the exact selling price. I can well imagine starting at Chelsea with partners. But I have to examine the general conditions first. But what I can already say: I’m definitely not doing something like this alone. If I buy Chelsea, then with a consortium consisting of six to seven investors.”

Ratcliffe, who is worth around £20billion thanks to his multi-national chemicals company Ineos, has been heavily linked with taking over from Abramovich at Chelsea in recent years.

However, he eventually decided to start off on a smaller scale, purchasing French club Nice for around £91million in 2019.

Despite being linked with Chelsea, Ratcliffe is a Manchester local and a supporter of Manchester United, and following intense criticism of the club’s current owners, the Glazers, he was asked about whether he would consider purchasing the Old Trafford club.

Roman Abramovich has ceded the care and stewardship of Chelsea. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Roman Abramovich has ceded the care and stewardship of Chelsea. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

It’s fair to say he has plenty of reservations about United and he has provided insight on why he has started with Nice rather than Chelsea.

Speaking to The Times, Ratcliffe said: “(Ineos) never wants to be the dumb money in town, never, never.”

Asked about buying United, he added: “Not at the moment, no. They are in quite a big pickle as a business.

“They haven’t got the manager selection right, haven’t bought well. They have been the dumb money, which you see with players like Fred.

“We won’t look elsewhere until we have had a good run here (at Nice). We need to find out how to be successful before you ever want to write a big cheque. It’s quite difficult.”

Ratcliffe was also critical of United’s big-spending policy, especially since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, added: “United have spent an immense amount since Ferguson left and been poor, to put it mildly. Shockingly poor, to be honest.

“We have a different approach here to be moderately intelligent about it. Try to do it more grass roots, trying to locate young talent.

“Some clubs seem to have an ability to do that, Southampton, Lille. United have done it really poorly. They have lost the plot there somehow.”

Abramovich vehemently denies any direct links to Russian president Vladimir Putin but the decision to step back from decision-making at Chelsea was made to protect the club’s reputation because of an increased focus on the 55-year-old after Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine.

His spokeswoman has not responded to a request for comment.

 

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