Premier League club Chelsea are on borrowed time and only have weeks to complete their sale, Britain’s Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport told the BBC on Thursday.
Chelsea were put up for sale by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich before sanctions were imposed on the oligarch by the British government over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, leaving the club unable to sign new players or renew existing contracts.
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« Chelsea is very much on borrowed time at the moment. There is a very short window left for that sale to take place. It has to happen soon, » Nadine Dorries told the BBC’s Newscast podcast.
Asked what would happen if that window closed without Chelsea being sold, Dorries declined to say, but added that the club had « weeks » to be sold.
Final bids for the club were submitted earlier this month, with Abramovich saying he will donate profits from the sale to victims of the Ukraine conflict.
Former Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton leads a consortium that includes World Athletics President Sebastian Coe and wealthy investors from around the world, who the group says all want to maintain Chelsea’s top status.
Former tennis world No. 1 Serena Williams and seven-times Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton joined Broughton’s bid to buy the team.
Private equity veterans Josh Harris and David Blitzer, who own sport teams including the National Basketball Association’s Philadelphia 76ers, are also backing Broughton’s bid.
Others on the shortlist to buy Chelsea are LA Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly and Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca.
A consortium led by Chicago Cubs owners the Ricketts family pulled out of the running.
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said on Thursday that uncertainty surrounding the sale is having a negative effect on the team’s ability to make summer transfer plans.