British businessman Nick Candy has said he has the funding in place to launch a takeover bid for Premier League club Chelsea and is in talks over the final composition of his bid consortium.
Candy, a billionaire property developer, said in an interview on Monday that he has held discussions with potential partners including British businessman Martin Broughton about teaming up to bid for Chelsea.
The two men, both Chelsea fans, are among a growing list of suitors circling the club, the sale of which has been complicated by the sanctioning of its Russian owner Roman Abramovich last week. Candy said he expects the club to be sold within two months.
“This deal will be done way before the start of the new season,” Candy said. He said he wouldn’t be “the backer with the largest cheque” in the consortium, but he was the person who could bring everyone together for a successful bid.
Broughton is a former chairman of Liverpool who helped pave the way for the club’s takeover by current owners Fenway Sports Group in 2010.
Chelsea are one of the biggest and most successful football clubs in the world. The reigning world and European champions have been England's most decorated team over the 19 years under Abramovich, who has spent lavishly on players, coaches, and the Academy to transform the club.
However, soon after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Abramovich initially attempted to hand control of Chelsea over to the club's charitable trust, before announcing he was putting the club up for sale. Since then, Abramovich’s alleged ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime have prompted the UK government to place far-reaching restrictions on the running of the club, creating uncertainty over its sale.
Chelsea's major trophies during the Abramovich era
Candy said three parties will determine the future of Chelsea: the bidder, Abramovich, and the UK government. He said Abramovich had “been sweet and kind over the years,” allowing his family to hold a memorial service for his father at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge stadium and scatter some of his ashes on the pitch.
Chelsea fans would have a role in the running of the club if his consortium wins, Candy said.
As a property developer, Candy would be expected to play an important role in any redevelopment of Stamford Bridge in the event of a successful takeover. In 2019, he said he was considering a bid for Capital & Counties, a real estate group that owns sites in west London, including in the Earl’s Court area close to Chelsea. Ultimately, he didn’t make a bid.