Jim Ratcliffe has tabled a last-minute bid to buy Chelsea, a spokesperson for the Ineos chief has confirmed.
Ratcliffe is understood to have held talks with Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck on Thursday and submitted a major offer for the Stamford Bridge club on Friday.
The 69-year-old explored in detail a possible bid for the Blues back in 2019, only to buy French club Nice instead.
Ratcliffe’s previous due diligence on Chelsea will expedite the process of his bid, minimising any delays in the sale process headed up by New York merchant bank the Raine Group.
Todd Boehly, Sir Martin Broughton and Steve Pagliuca were all hoping to hear this week which of their consortium offers to buy the Blues had been selected as the preferred bid but Ratcliffe’s late entrance adds another heavyweight bid to the battle to buy Chelsea from Roman Abramovich.
A spokesperson for Ratcliffe confirmed the British business magnate’s offer to buy Chelsea, with the bid understood now to represent the highest for the club.
“We put an offer in this morning,” Ratcliffe told The Times.
“We are the only British bid. Our motives are simply to try and create a very fine club in London. We have no profit motive because we make our money in other ways.”
Chelsea will still hope to have a new owner in place by the end of May, despite any delays that come from Ratcliffe’s late entry into the race for the Stamford Bridge club.
Once the Raine Group selects a preferred bidder, the Government must then grant a new licence to allow the sale to be completed.
Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale on March 2, amid Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine.
The 55-year-old was then sanctioned by the UK Government on March 10, with Downing Street claiming to have proven links between the Russian-Israeli billionaire and Vladimir Putin.
Abramovich has owned Chelsea for 19 years, leading the club to 21 trophies in a glittering tenure.