Chelsea Sale: Celtics Owner Reportedly Among Bidding Finalists

The winner will pay £3 billion-plus ($3.9 billion) for the club

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Could Chelsea FC fall under local ownership in the coming weeks?

That looks to be a distinct possibility after Raine Group included Boston Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca on its shortlist of prospective owners of the London-based soccer club, The Athletic’s Matt Slater reported Friday, citing sources. Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich is selling Chelsea, and Pagliuca has emerged from the opening round of bids to clinch a place among the final four candidates.

“Pagliuca, 67, is thought to be in with a real chance of buying the west London club,” Slater wrote. “He owns the Celtics and co-chairs private equity group Bain Capital. He also owns a 55 per cent stake of Serie A side Atalanta.”

Pagluica’s competition consists of three other groups: one led by Los Angeles Dodgers owner Todd Boehly; another fronted by Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils owners David Blitzer and Josh Harris and the other headed by the Ricketts family, which owns the Chicago Cubs.

Raine Group, which is handling the Chelsea sale on Abramovich’s behalf, is expected to select a winning bid late next month. The victorious group almost certainly will pay £3 billion-plus ($3.9 billion) for the Premier League and UEFA Champions League powerhouse.

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