Chelsea’s home stadium, Stamford Bridge, seen through the trees in London on March 10, 2022. Chelsea’s Russian owner, Roman Abramovich, has been hit by an asset freeze and travel ban in England, upsetting his plan to sell Europe and club world champions.
Justin Tallis | AFP | Getty Pictures
Lewis Hamilton and Serena Williams pledge millions of pounds in one of the competing bids to become Chelsea’s new owners.
Weather forecast It may exclusively disclose the full list of investors who supported the takeover bid of the club, led by Sir Martin Broughton, former chairman of Liverpool and British Airways. tennis.
Sources close to the group said Hamilton and Williams, the most prominent members of one of the three remaining consortiums, each pledged around £10m in the tender.
The two Hamiltons will race for Mercedes at this weekend’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix in Imola – live sky sports – and winning 23 Grand Slams, including seven Wimbledon titles, Williams have become established investors in their own right in recent years.
The tennis star’s venture capital fund, Serena Ventures, announced this week that it will invest in Opensponsorship, a British sports tech startup, while Hamilton has backed a number of startups, including London-based fast-paced grocery delivery Zapp. application.
Their participation in the Chelsea auction is not unexpected, especially since Hamilton is an Arsenal fan.
Hamilton and Williams have been meeting with the Broughton-led group for several weeks.
As of Thursday morning, it was unclear what institutional assets the couple would use to invest in the Blues.
The consortium is uniquely British-led among the trio of shortlisted bidders and has another British sports icon in the form of Sebastian Coe among its supporters.
A source close to the group said the addition of Hamilton and Williams was a serious investment decision given their experience building global sports brands.
They also noted that the couple’s involvement isn’t the first time famous athletes have supported a Premier League club – NBA star LeBron James was a junior shareholder in Liverpool for over a decade.
According to the consortium’s plans, the holding company Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (HBSE), led by US private equity billionaires Josh Harris and Dave Blitzer, will own a majority stake in Chelsea – but will have to divest its minority stake in Crystal Palace at a later date. . to close a deal.
Their involvement in the ownership and management of Crystal Palace since 2015 is also a distinguishing factor among the remaining bidders for Chelsea.
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Other investors in the Broughton-led group include: the Canadian Rogers family, which owns a major stake in the media and telecommunications company Rogers Communications; John Arnold, who chairs the bidding committee for the 2026 FIFA World Cup in Houston; and the Taiwanese Tsai family, owners of the Taipei Fubon Braves and Fubon Guardians baseball teams.
like Weather forecast Alejandro Santo Domingo, heir to one of the world’s largest beer fortunes and several North American sports franchise investors, is also investing in the proposal, it reported Monday.
Sources close to the proposal, led by Broughton, said the diversity of the global investor list was among the factors that convinced Hamilton and Williams to join.
An insider suggested that Hamilton would most likely play an official role in Chelsea’s efforts to promote diversity, equality and inclusion if the proposal were successful.
She and Williams have advocated in their own sport and beyond promoting equality, lending their names to numerous anti-discrimination initiatives.
This issue was highlighted when one of the previous bidders in Chelsea’s sale process – a consortium led by the Ricketts family, who own the Chicago Cubs – was forced to move away from historical Islamophobic comments.
The Broughton Consortium is said to believe they are in the best position of the remaining Consortia to manage the complexities of owning Chelsea, including the potential redevelopment of their Stamford Bridge home.