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The Ricketts family, owners of the Chicago Cubs, are interested in buying the Chelsea football club

The Ricketts family, owners of Major League Baseball’s Chicago Cubs franchise since 2009, are among many parties interested in bidding on Chelsea Football Club, according to Sky News’ Mark Kleinman.

The sale of Premier League giants and reigning Champions League winners Chelsea comes in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and subsequent appeals to club owner Roman Abramovich (among other wealthy Russian businessmen) to face sanctions. Abramovich initially distanced himself from the club before later announcing his decision to put him on the market.

“The apparent interest of the Ricketts family, which owns the Chicago Cubs, is arguably the most catchy name tied to efforts to end Mr. Abramovich’s 19-year ownership of the club,” Kleinman wrote.

The Ricketts, who previously made a bid for AC Milan in 2018, are one of several groups mentioned by Kleinman. Others include MMA fighter Conor McGregor and Todd Boehly, which apparently owns a 20% share of the Los Angeles Dodgers as well as a 27% share of the National Basketball Association’s Los Angeles Lakers. (Boehy bought that share with Mark Walter, the Dodgers’ principal owner.)

Kleinman’s report says Abramovich is seeking £3 billion in the sale, the equivalent of nearly US$3.3 billion.

“The sale of the club will not be expedited but will follow due process,” Abramovich’s statement read. “I will not ask for any loan repayments. It was never about business or money for me, but pure passion for the game and the club.”

Abramovich’s statement promised that the “net proceeds” of the sale would be donated to a charitable foundation set up to benefit “victims of war in Ukraine” with the aim of “providing essential funds for the urgent and immediate needs of the victims. , as well as supporting long-term recovery work.

The Ricketts originally purchased the Cubs and a share of Comcast SportsNet Chicago for $845 million. Forbes estimated the franchise was worth $3.36 billion last April, with the Ricketts having since renovated Wrigley Field and created Marquee, their own regional sports network.