A billionaire friend of former US president Donald Trump is launching a speculative bid to buy Chelsea, according to reports. Woody Johnson, who also co-owns NFL outfit the New York Jets, will apparently submit a last-minute offer to purchase the stricken Premier League club before Friday’s deadline.
Chelsea have suffered badly from the implications of sanctions imposed on oligarch Roman Abramovich. The government sanctioned the 55-year-old last week due to his alleged association to Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Abramovich had his UK assets frozen and Chelsea, who he purchased in 2003, are only allowed to operate under a special license. It was deemed that they are of significant cultural importance.
But the Blues’ revenue streams have been seriously limited. They cannot sell tickets or merchandise, new contracts have been prevented, and they must only spend a certain amount on matchday expenses.
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“He’s run the Jets successfully and knows a huge amount about the sports industry. And he’s spent the last four years in London and knows it well.”
However, the Jets are yet to reach a Super Bowl under Johnson’s ownership and are on the longest run without a playoff appearance of any NFL team.
Deadline for bids to buy Chelsea were this week extended until Friday. The government is keen for a sale to go ahead as soon as possible.