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Boston Celtics owner Stephen Pagliuca is in the running to buy Chelsea
Boston Celtics owner Stephen Pagliuca is in the running to buy Chelsea (Pictures: Getty)

The Ricketts family and NBA owner Stephen Pagliuca have been included in the final four-party shortlist to buy Chelsea from Roman Abramovich.

Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale after being sanctioned by the UK government earlier this month as part of its response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The government described Abramovich as a ‘pro-Kremlin oligarch’ with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and froze his assets.

Chelsea are expected to be sold for a price of over $3 billion (£2.27 billion), but there has been serious doubt over who the club’s next owners will be.

A number of parties have expressed interest in buying the Premier League side and Raine Group, who are overseeing the sale, have now shortlisted the final four bids, according to The Athletic.

Offers from the Ricketts family, Boston Celtics owner Pagliuca, David Blitzer and Josh Harris and Todd Boehly are understood to have been shortlisted, with London-based Centricus now out of the running.

The Ricketts family, who own the Chicago Cups baseball team, have been included despite a huge backlash on social media and the club’s supporters’ trust expressing concerns over the bid.

Roman Abramovich has been in charge of Chelsea since 2003
Roman Abramovich has been in charge of Chelsea since 2003 (Picture: Getty)

Joe Ricketts, the family’s patriarch, was accused of Islamophobia in 2019. In response to fresh criticism this week, the family have said it ‘rejects any form of hate in the strongest possible terms’.

American businessman Pagliuca, 67, owns the Celtics and has a 55 per cent stake of Serie A side Atalanta.

Meanwhile, Boehly is part of the Los Angeles Dodgers ownership group and Harris and Blitzer – two private equity billionaires – own the Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Devils and several other soccer clubs.

Raine Group have told shortlisted bidders that the sale of Chelsea could be completed by the end of April.

Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea are currently third in the Premier League and face Real Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Champions League next month. The Blues could also still win the FA Cup, drawing Crystal Palace in the semi-finals.

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Source: Metro Sport

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