Bids are received prior to the Chelsea sale deadline

This is a sale forced on Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich after he was sanctioned by the UK government for his close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

This is a sale forced on Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich after he was sanctioned by the UK government for his close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

For Sale: A Premier League Club. Condition: Troubled. Value: over $2 billion.

The deadline for submitting bids to buy Chelsea and end the 19-year ownership of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich is March 18.

This is a sale forced on the oligarch after he was sanctioned by the UK government for his close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin after invading Ukraine.

WHO BIDDS?

There was a stream of bidders who went public with their interest.

The Ricketts family, owners of the Chicago Cubs, have formed a syndicate with hedge fund manager Ken Griffin. The family fortune was made by Joe Ricketts as chairman of electronic trading platform TD Ameritrade. His son Tom Ricketts serves as chairman of the Cubs.

Another consortium considering an offer includes Todd Boehly, co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss and Jonathan Goldstein, a London-based real estate investor who is CEO of Cain International. Danny Finkelstein, columnist for the Times of London and Conservative Party representative in the House of Lords, announced on Thursday that he would be joining the bid.

“These are smart guys who not only have the money to invest, but know how to use it,” Finkelstein said in a statement. “They understand data and fans. I’m really excited about the plans for fan engagement, which I firmly believe in. I want Chelsea to be pioneers.”

Michael Broughton, former chairman of Liverpool and British Airways, heads a consortium that includes athletics legend Sebastian Coe, president of World Athletics, IOC member and Chelsea fan.

British property developer Nick Candy has also expressed an interest in bidding and was very present at Sunday’s Premier League game against Newcastle.

The latest interest has been publicized by investment firm Aethel Partners, run by Portuguese entrepreneur Ricardo Silva, which has offered to inject £50m immediately following a takeover to ease any liquidity problems.

WHO OVERVIEWS THE SALE?

The Raine Group, a New York-based investment bank. But it can only go ahead with the approval of the UK government, which allows the club to continue playing under a special license that limits its ability to spend and generate income.

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE PROCEEDS?

Abramovich cannot benefit from the sale in any way as his UK assets are frozen.

He has said he would write off the more than £1.5billion ($2billion) in loans from the funds he has pumped into the club to spend on the players and coaches who died during have produced 21 trophies during his reign. This pledge was made as pressure mounted on Abramovich after the war began three weeks ago, but before he was sanctioned.

Funds from a sale could be placed in escrow pending a determination of where to go – possibly to a charity. Before being sanctioned, Abramovich said the proceeds would go to a foundation “to benefit all victims of the war in Ukraine.” Abramovich has not indicated whether affected Russians could also benefit, and he has yet to condemn the war or Putin.

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