Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s £4.25bn bid for Chelsea has been “rejected out of hand” by the US bank overseeing the sale but he has not given up hope of buying the club, a spokesperson for his business Ineos has said.
Ratcliffe made a late offer last Friday, two weeks after the deadline, but a consortium led by Todd Boehly were granted preferred bidder status and they are in a five-day exclusivity period, attempting to agree a deal with the club’s current owner, Roman Abramovich.
“We’ve been rejected out of hand by Raine but we will keep reminding people we are still here,” Tom Crotty, a director at the British petrochemicals company Ineos, told Bloomberg.
Ratcliffe signalled his seriousness by meeting the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust last weekend and a source close to Abramovich has cautioned against writing off Ratcliffe.
“We will continue to engage with the fanbase,” said Crotty. “We see ourselves as a fan-based bid.”
On Tuesday the sale was plunged into major doubt because of fears Abramovich is attempting to renege on his promise to write off his £1.6bn loan to the club.
Ratcliffe, who offered to pay £2.5bn for Chelsea and pledged to invest £1.75bn over the next 10 years, is poised if talks with Boehly break down. Consortiums led by Sir Martin Broughton and Steve Pagliuca are also watching with interest after Boely’s group were selected ahead of theirs.
Crotty said Ineos had considered a move for Chelsea in the past but had been put off by the potential price. “Now the numbers look more sensible,” he said.