Fans from Chicago Urge Chelsea’s Board of Directors and Govt to Oppose the Ricketts family’s Purchase of the Club.

Fans from Chicago Urge Chelsea’s Board of Directors and Govt to Oppose the Ricketts family’s Purchase of the Club.

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24 Mar 2022
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The Ricketts family is facing additional opposition in their ambition to purchase Chelsea after a supporters’ organization stated their bid was met with ‘universal contempt’ and that their values do not align with those of the club.

The Chicago Cubs baseball team’s owners made a ‘complete-offers’ for the club soon before 8 p.m. UK time on Friday, more than an hour ahead of the deadline set by merchant bank Raine, which is overseeing the sale.

Tom Ricketts, 56, the Cubs’ chairman, is leading the proposal, which is being co-financed by Ken Griffin, 53, the founder of the Chicago-based hedge company Citadel and owner of an estimated £20 billion fortune.

However, Brian Wolff, the head of the Chelsea Chicago Supporters Club and a Cubs season ticket holder, has warned that a Ricketts family takeover would mean disaster for the club.

The fan organization has cast doubt on the family’s ability to achieve further success on the pitch and claims that the club’s future at Stamford Bridge may possibly be jeopardized.

Mr Wolff also expressed concern about the controversies surrounding their political convictions – as well as their reconstruction of the Cubs’ Wrigley Field, a project for which Tom Ricketts stated at one point that it had gone ‘about 100%’ over budget.

‘As the President of the Chelsea Chicago Supporters Club and the Overseas Representative for the Chelsea Fans’ Forum, I’ve had the unique opportunity to hear what supporters in Chicago and around the world have to say about the Ricketts family’s bid for Chelsea,’ he wrote in a statement posted on Twitter.

‘I can report that the overwhelming majority of opinion has been one of universal contempt.’

The Ricketts’ political donations, fundraising, and support for candidates who do not share the inclusive views of Chelsea Football Club and its supporters are diametrically opposed to the club’s and the Chelsea Foundation’s 19 years of outstanding work, most notably as a leader in committing to a living wage and efforts to protect and promote equality for BAME and LGBTQ communities.

‘Their ownership of the Chicago Cubs baseball team and the redevelopment of Wrigley Field casts serious doubt on their ability to build on the club’s on-field success, as well as the continued existence of the Chelsea Pitch Owners and the goal of keeping Chelsea Football Club playing at Stamford Bridge in perpetuity.’

‘On behalf of many supporters worldwide, I encourage you to reject their proposal for ownership of Chelsea Football Club in favor of those who will commit to building on the club’s two decades of investment in players and infrastructure, but also in supporters and the values we cherish.’

The announcement comes after the Evening Standard reported that the family is growing increasingly confident of being shortlisted in the race to buy the club.

According to the article, they intend to travel to the United Kingdom to meet with fans and the Chelsea Pitch Owners PLC in person to discuss their ambitions for the Blues.

Tom Ricketts also met with Chelsea and Fulham MP Greg Hands, whom the Conservative member hailed on Twitter as a ‘good call.’

Mr Hands asserts that Ricketts ‘understands community’ and that his role in guiding the Cubs to their third World Series championship in 2016 as well as his intention to visit London to speak with the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust are other pluses.

However, the family’s differing views come after their father, Joe Ricketts, came under criticism in 2012 for declaring that’muslims are my enemy.’

Leaked emails from 2012 revealed their 80-year-old father made a series of provocative remarks regarding race, including declaring ‘Muslims are my enemy,’ referring to Islam as a ‘cult,’ and laughing at racial jokes.

However, it appears as though the Ricketts, together with another US bid from a Todd Boehly-led consortium, are among the frontrunners to acquire Chelsea.

 

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