Chelsea on ‘borrowed time’ as Nadine Dorries heaps pressure on Roman Abramovich sale

Ralf Rangnick previews Chelsea

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Chelsea have been spurred on to complete their takeover process by culture secretary Nadine Dorries. The Blues were effectively forced to change hands when Roman Abramovich, a Russian billionaire who bought the club in 2003, was hit with UK government sanctions last month in response to Vladimir Putin’s military assault on Ukraine. 

Three bidders remain in the running to buy Chelsea from Abramovich, who will not make any money from the sale as a result of the sanctions. The trio in question are consortia headed up by Sir Martin Broughton, Todd Boehly and Stephen Pagliuca. 

Abramovich put the club up for sale shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, before being sanctioned for alleged links to President Putin. The Blues have been operating under a special license, issued by the UK government, ever since. 

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An initial rush of activity has since been followed by something of a lull, and Dorries has piled on the pressure with the license due to expire on May 31.  

“There is a very short window left for that sale to take place,” she told the BBC Newscast podcast. “Chelsea is being sold, as you know, and the sanctions apply, so those sanctions still apply during the sale.

“But what I will say, actually, is that Chelsea is very much on borrowed time at the moment.” When pressed on a more specific timeframe, Dorries claimed that the Blues must change hands “within weeks”. 

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Reports put the predicted sale price at somewhere around £2billion, and those with authority in the takeover process are believed to prioritise the health of the club over the final amount. It also emerged on Thursday that Abramovich is keen to secure an extra £500million from each bidder should the sale go through to bump up the amount from the sale that goes to charity. 

On the pitch, manager Thomas Tuchel has performed admirably to keep the team focused and they remain relatively comfortable sitting third in the Premier League table. The German is sure to want clarity as soon as possible with summer transfer plans up in the air while the club’s new owners remain unknown. 

Last month, Tuchel said: “I am not involved [in the takeover process]. I am informed from time to time, but as you know we have a tight schedule so I’m happy not to be informed of every step and change in the process. That gives me the advantage to focus on the football and things I can infulence.

“Hopefully the [new owners] like winning.”

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