Will Britain's Richest Man Ratcliffe Buy Chelsea?

Published March 20th, 2019 - 04:00 GMT
(Chelsea FC)
(Chelsea FC)

Britain's wealthiest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe is still interested in buying Chelsea but his valuation is vastly below that of owner Roman Abramovich.

Sportsmail broke the news of Ratcliffe's offer for the Premier League side last year but a deal is not close to being done.

Ratcliffe, who has net worth of £21billion, will become the owner of cycling giant Team Sky – naming it Team Ineos after his petrochemicals company – but would like to add Chelsea to his portfolio.

However, Abramovich never took the British billionaire's interest seriously, with the numbers being a long way off the £2.1billion he would consider.

Abramovich has been absent from Stamford Bridge for most of the season following difficulties in obtaining a visa last summer amid deteriorating relations between Britain and Russia.

The owner is understood to have an Israeli passport, which would allow him to visit the UK for up to six months without a visa, but he has not been seen at the club.

Abramovich has also shelved plans for a rebuild of their Stamford Bridge home, which would see the capacity increased from the present 41,631 to 63,000 by the 2023-24 season.

However, Chelsea maintain the club is not for sale.

Obtaining the five-time Premier League champions would be a major addition to 66-year-old Ratcliffe's portfolio.

The Monaco-based billionaire invested £110m last year in Olympic sailor Sir Ben Ainslie's Ineos Team UK with the aim of competing in the 2021 America's Cup in New Zealand.

It would not be his first foray into the world of football, however, as he bought Swiss top-flight club Lausanne-Sport in 2017.

His interest in Chelsea, where he is a season-ticket holder, comes despite growing up in Manchester as a United fan.

Ratcliffe watches Chelsea because it is close to his home and last season he was also a guest at the club's Cobham training ground.

The 2018 Sunday Times rich list valued Ratcliffe at £21.05bn, compared to Abramovich's £9.3bn valuation.

His company, Ineos, recorded sales of £45bn and employs more than 18,500 people in 22 countries.

Ratcliffe's new involvement in Team Ineos was confirmed on Monday after broadcaster Sky ended their decade-long commitment that has seen them win eight Grand Tours.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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