Reports in England claim that the Saudi Media Group and New York Jets owner Woody Johnson have been told they are not part of a final shortlist in the sale of Chelsea Football Club.
Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich announced his decision to sell the club shortly before he was sanctioned by the UK government as a result of his ties to president Vladimir Putin.
He appointed US bank The Raine Group to oversee the process and even in spite of the sanctions placed on Abramovich, they have been able to continue the process and are preparing to name three final offers.
Goal report that the Saudi Media Group is “disappointed not to make it through” to the final shortlist while Sky News have claimed Jets owner Johnson has also not made the cut.
They add that SMG is “willing to support other consortiums that are selected” with the belief that Chelsea needing a quick sale as the reason for their snub by the Raine Group.
Saudi Media generates an estimated £770million per year, hence their need to bring in outside backers as part of their bid.
It is believed that Mohamed Alkhereiji, a lifelong Chelsea fan who was leading the private Saudi consortium, submitted an offer in the region of £2.7billion.
The Saudi Media Group is not directly owned by the Saudi government, unlike Newcastle United’s owner the Public Investment Fund (PIF). However, Khalid Al Saud is chair of the state-owned Saudi Telecom Company, in which the PIF owns shares.
It was reported earlier this week that Chelsea could receive the highest ever price to purchase a sports team with a bid of over £3bn.
The group led by Nick Candy remain hopeful of making the final three or four; while Centricus, a consortium fronted by Chelsea season ticket holders, are also hoping to be part of the shortlist.
Sky News have reported that the offer by New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, has been unsuccessful, as well as that of Muhsin Barak, the Turkish businessman who brashly claimed he had a 90 per chance of buying the Stamford Bridge club from Abramovich.
The offer from Aethel Partners is also expected to miss out, according to that report.
Raine asked bidders to give binding assurances about future spending on the club and its ground prior to the shortlist being finalised.
An insider told Sky Sports: ‘They want guarantees about future capital funding for the club and stadium, and cash on the balance sheet, so that they can be certain they are picking the best future owner of Chelsea.’
The Ricketts Family this week moved to defuse growing tensions towards their bid to buy Chelsea, insisting they are not racist.