Chelsea’s hunt for new owners is down to three bidders after a consortium fronted by the Ricketts family withdrew from the race on Friday.
The Ricketts family, who own the Chicago Cubs baseball team, had grouped together with US billionaires Ken Griffin and Dan Gilbert.
But reports suggested members of the consortium have been unable to agree on the formalities of the bid.
“The Ricketts-Griffin-Gilbert Group has decided, after careful consideration, not to submit a final bid for Chelsea FC,” a statement read.
“In the process of finalising their proposal, it became increasingly clear that certain issues could not be addressed given the unusual dynamics around the sales process.
“We have great admiration for Chelsea and its fans, and we wish the new owners well.”
The bid had been met with widespread resistance over historical accusations of Islamophobia, with the Ricketts family saying it “rejects any form of hate in the strongest possible terms”.
Reports in the UK media insisted the protests had nothing to do with the final decision not to launch a bid.
Chelsea were put up for sale by Roman Abramovich after the Russian oligarch was sanctioned by the UK government over his reported close ties to Russia president Vladimir Putin, who launched an attack on neighbouring Ukraine in February.
Offers to buy the club had to be submitted by Thursday at the latest and three parties remain in the hunt.
Groups fronted by Todd Boehly (part owner of the LA Dodgers), Martin Broughton (former British Airways and Liverpool chairman), and Steve Pagliuca (co-owner of the Boston Celtics and Atalanta) are fighting it out to complete a purchase.
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