Friday, July 1, 2022

Ratcliffe pledges £1.75billion investment if Chelsea bid succeeds

SoccerNews in English Premier League 29 Apr 2022

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Jim Ratcliffe has pledged to invest £1.75billion into Chelsea’s teams and infrastructure if successful in purchasing the Blues, including a “world-class” redevelopment of their Stamford Bridge home.

Ratcliffe, who announced his bid for the west London outfit earlier on Friday, promised to ensure the Blues are “held in the same regard as Real Madrid, Barcelona or Bayern Munich” in a statement released by his company INEOS.

INEOS already has extensive sporting ties, owning Ligue 1 outfit Nice and enjoying sponsorship deals with the INEOS Grenadiers cycling team and Formula One’s Mercedes, and Ratcliffe is now rivalling three consortiums for control of the Blues.

He told The Times the only motivation behind his offer was to “create a very fine club in London”, although Friday’s statement expands upon Ratcliffe’s declaration of interest, pledging substantial investment “for the direct benefit of the club” over the next 10 years and to redevelop Stamford Bridge rather than build a new stadium.

The British billionaire has also said £2.5billion will go to a charitable trust to support victims of Russia’s ongoing war on Ukraine after Roman Abramovich was placed under sanctions by the UK government last month.

“Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Chairman of INEOS, has made a formal bid for Chelsea FC, for £4.25billion. £2.5billion is committed to the Charitable Trust to support victims of the war, with £1.75billion committed to investment directly into the club over the next 10 years,” the statement read.

“This is a British bid, for a British club. We believe that a club is bigger than its owners, who are temporary custodians of a great tradition, with responsibility to the fans and the community.  

“That is why we are committing to spending £1.75billion over 10 years that will be for the direct benefit of the club.

“We will invest in Stamford Bridge to make it a world-class stadium, befitting of Chelsea FC. This will be organic and ongoing so that we will not move away from the home of Chelsea and risk losing the support of loyal fans.  

“We will continue to invest in the team to ensure we have a first-class squad of the world’s greatest players, coaches and support staff, in the men’s and women’s games, and we hope to continue to invest in the academy to provide opportunity for talented youngsters to develop into first class players. 

“We believe that London should have a club that reflects the stature of the city. One that is held in the same regard as Real Madrid, Barcelona or Bayern Munich. We intend Chelsea to be that club. 

“We are making this investment as fans of the beautiful game – not as a means to turn a profit. We do that with our core businesses. The club is rooted in its community and its fans. And it is our intention to invest in Chelsea FC for that reason.  

“No further comment will be made from Sir Jim or INEOS during the bidding process.”  

Ratcliffe’s offer is competing with bids from consortiums fronted by Todd Boehly, Martin Broughton and Stephen Pagliuca, as the Blues await an end to the uncertainty that has surrounded the club since Abramovich announced his intention to sell last month.

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