Chelsea chiefs Marina Granovskaia and Petr Cech had a private meeting with prospective Chelsea investor Nick Candy at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, according to reports.
Owner Roman Abramovich has instructed US merchant bank Raine to find a buyer for the west London club and interested parties have until Friday to put forward their proposals.
British property developer Candy has emerged as a fans’ favourite to take over ownership, with the 49-year-old – who has supported the club since childhood – promising to have fan representation on the board.
Candy, a season-ticket holder, was at Stamford Bridge on Sunday to watch Chelsea’s 1-0 victory over Newcastle – though that may not have been the only reason for his visit.
According to Goal.com’s Nizaar Kinsella, Candy also had a private meeting with Chelsea director Granovskaia and technical and performance advisor Cech.
It is possible that Candy was formally floating the idea of offering the club short-term financial resources – subject to government approval – after he said he would be willing to stump up cash to ensure Chelsea can continue to operate irrespective of whether his ownership bid is successful.
While the details of Candy’s meeting are unknown, he may also have been getting a read on whether Granovskaia and Cech would be prepared to remain at Stamford Bridge under his ownership.
Granovskaia has established herself as one of the most powerful and influential directors in both the Premier League and European football since taking the role in 2013.
However, she has previously been described as Abramovich’s ‘chief of staff’ and worked for the Russian oligarch in other ventures prior to her role at Stamford Bridge, with reports suggesting she might step away when the club is sold.
Candy, meanwhile, is now believed to have the funds in place to make a concrete offer for Chelsea, having been working to put together a consortium which he will lead.
Speaking about his desire to buy Chelsea, Candy told Sky Sports News on Sunday: ‘I’ve supported Chelsea since I was the age of four. My dad was asked to play for Chelsea. I love Chelsea.
‘I don’t mind where it ends up, even if it’s not with me, as long as it’s in safe hands. One hundred per cent [the fans need to be included in ownership] and they should be involved. Both on the board and economically.’