Abramovich’s Chelsea Sale Hits Brickwall

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At least interested buyers know they do not have to find £1.5billion just to pay off the debt owed to Roman Abramovich. But making it all work is still going to be tricky.

As Abramovich ends a 19-year reign that has brought 19 major trophies to Stamford Bridge, Chelsea fans are fearing what will happen next.

A whole generation of Blues supporters have only known the Red Rom era — trophy upon trophy, great players, goals and glory.
Yet it is too easy to forget the entire playing field has changed since 2003.

The Russian only had to break up a duopoly, a Premier League dominated by Manchester United and Arsenal, led by Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger.

He did that and more, firstly making it a Big Three and then supplanting those two giants. But now it is not just three.

There is a Big Six — even if Spurs frequently look like interlopers — with Manchester City and Liverpool now Chelsea’s biggest domestic and European rivals.

Money at Leicester and Aston Villa, too. And, of course, the new, emerging force that is Newcastle under their Saudi overlords.

That all helps explain why even some of the potential bidders might think deeply before even putting their money on the table.

One possible buyer are British chemicals giant Ineos. They are owned by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the UK’s richest person who is worth an estimated £16bn — and who also happens to be a Chelsea fan.

Indeed Sir Jim and brother Bob, head of Ineos Football which runs French side Nice and Swiss outfit Lausanne, have been mooted as potential owners before.

Pressed on the subject two years ago, Bob suggested the “£2bn sticker price” for any top-six club was just the beginning.