The Saudi Media Group consortium is out of the running to buy Chelsea.
The Saudi bidders have been told their offer has not been taken forward to the shortlist stage, the PA news agency has reported.
New York merchant bank the Raine Group has started the process of informing the prospective buyers of Chelsea of the status on their bids.
And the Saudi offer is the first to be understood to have fallen short.
Chelsea fan Mohamed Al Khereiji fronted the Saudi consortium’s bid, but concerns over possible delays with the Premier League and UK Government will have factored into Raine’s decision.
Saudi Media insisted its offer was completely separate from the Saudi Arabia state, but the long-running issues around the Saudi takeover at Newcastle will have played a part in Raine’s consideration of the offer to buy Chelsea.
Both the Government and the Premier League will have oversight on Chelsea’s sale, in light of owner Roman Abramovich’s Downing Street sanctions.
Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale on 2 March, amid Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian-Israeli billionaire was then sanctioned by the Government on 10 March, with Downing Street claiming to have proven his links to Vladimir Putin.
Roman Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale on 2 March
The Blues must operate under strict Government licence, with Abramovich unable to profit from Chelsea’s sale.
Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly is among the front-runners for Chelsea, with Chicago Cubs owners the Ricketts family also in line to make Raine’s shortlist of preferred bidders.
Sir Martin Broughton and Lord Sebastian Coe have another potent offering lodged, with strong financing secured and both front men proud of the submission.
British property tycoon Nick Candy has pushed hard with his offer for the Blues while London-based global investment firm Centricus has also submitted a well-funded bid, fronted by four lifelong Chelsea fans.