Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has already set out two priorities for his successor as another key milestone in the race to buy the Blues passes today. Four bidders made it past the first stage of the process, and final offers must be made and submitted by the end of today (April 14).
The Russian has been the owner of the west London club for almost 19 years and has overseen a massive improvement in fortunes in that time, taking them to two Champions League crowns and even a Club World Cup title. But he chose to put the club on the market back in February and was sanctioned by the UK government shortly after for alleged links to Vladimir Putin.
While Abramovich is not set to receive any money from the sale as a result of the sanctions, he is expected to have a say on who ultimately succeeds him at Stamford Bridge. Todd Boehly, Stephen Pagliuca, Sir Martin Broughton and the Ricketts family remain the key figures leading separate consortium bids to purchase the club.
This past couple of weeks have seen each interested party seek to bolster their bids with added investment. LA Dodgers partner Mark Walter has joined Boehly, Steve Pagliuca has sought the help of Bob Iger and John Terry, while Ken Griffin has joined the Ricketts family.
Who takes over has two clear instructions that Abramovich would most likely want them to follow and have been repeated throughout his time in charge. To be consistent and to ensure you are bringing benefit to the surrounding communities.
“First of all, is when you say something, you have to always follow through,” he said in a rare interview with Forbes back in 2021. “And, I guess, that is especially if you’re a person who doesn’t say much. So, what you do say is very important.
“Second, football is society. Football is part of society, and society is part of football. So, it’s the natural state of things for football to be involved, support the community, and be present in the community.”