Saudi Media Group are said to have submitted an offer worth £2.7bn to buy Chelsea.
Current Blues owner Roman Abramovich is currently looking to sell the club after the UK government added him to their sanctions list on Thursday, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Competing American-backed consortiums had been considered frontrunners to secure a deal, with around 20 different groups expressing an interest. One of these parties, Saudi Media Group, have now stepped up their efforts to buy Chelsea by submitting their first offer.
According to Ben Jacobs, the bid is in the region of £2.7bn. The owner of SMG, Mohamed Alkhereiji, is said to be an avid Chelsea fan and his ‘private consortium’ is claimed to have no direct government links.
However, Mohammed bin Khalid Al Saud, who heads up thee state-owned Saudi Telecom Company, is involved in helping finance the bid. In addition, Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud – the crown prince of Saudi Arabia – also appears in Alkhereiji’s profile picture on social media.
Those in charge of Chelsea’s sale are known to favour new owners that are insulated from shifts in the geopolitical landscape to avoid a repeat of the Abrahamovich situation. This likely could not be ensured it Al Saud was involved heavily.
His links to the Saudi Telecom Company would be problematic too. Chelsea are currently sponsored by rival telecommunication multinational Three, who would likely terminate their association permanently should the Saudi Media Group come onboard.