One of the UK’s richest men, Jim Ratcliffe, has made a dramatic eleventh hour bid to buy Premier League club Chelsea in what is a sensational twist in the ongoing saga as several suitors attempt to position themselves to seal a deal to purchase the reigning European and world champions from Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.
With the shortlist having been narrowed to three consortia as of Thursday, Ratcliffe is understood to have notified The Raine Group – the New York merchant bank overseeing the sale – of his bid of £4 billion ($5 billion) early on Friday.
Ratcliffe, who owns petrochemicals company Ineos, held high-level talks with Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck in a bid to usurp the various other bidders who have been involved in the process for several weeks now.
“We put an offer in this morning,” Ratcliffe confirmed to The Times. “We are the only British bid. Our motives are simply to try and create a very fine club in London. We have no profit motive because we make our money in other ways.”