Bidders – who include several US sports franchise-owning billionaires – will have the opportunity to improve their offers from the indicative proposals which saw them make it through to the final stages of one of the most extraordinary corporate auctions of recent times.
The four remaining contenders had been told by Raine on Saturday they must commit at least £1bn to future investment in the club if they are to succeed in the battle to end Abramovich’s twenty years as Chelsea owner.
The additional funding must be made available for the Blues’ Stamford Bridge stadium, playing squad and other areas of development.
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Bids headed by the Ricketts family, Todd Boehly and Sir Martin Broughton on the shortlist to buy Chelsea; Atalanta co-owner Stephen Pagliuca also on the list with Nick Candy still hoping to be part of the process; final offers to be tabled by April 11.
The four contenders vying to buy Chelsea will submit final bids on April 11, paving the way for a prospective new owner to seek government permission to take over from Roman Abramovich by the end of next month.
All four of the remaining bidders have significant experience in sports stadium infrastructure, a key consideration given Chelsea’s long-standing dilemma about the expansion of Stamford Bridge, which has a capacity barely half that of Manchester United’s Old Trafford home.