The news will be a huge relief for Chelsea fans, as the club were facing up to the possibility of a doomsday scenario had Abramovich pulled the plug on the sale.
Chelsea had warned the Government that sanctions imposed on the club threatened their ability to complete the season. Matters were further complicated later on Friday when a set of Barclaycard credit cards belonging to the club were temporarily suspended. Both Raine and Chelsea have held talks with the Government over how the sale can go ahead and have agreed to a process where the preferred bidder and the use of the funds from the sale will require Government approval. Raine had set a deadline of next Tuesday for first bids, but that is now set to be pushed back to the end of next week to allow for the 24-hour pause in the process and to try to attract more bidders.
The 55-year-old Abramovich was added to the United Kingdom’s sanctioned individuals list on Thursday in a move that threatened to derail his attempts to offload the club.
He announced he was ready to end his 19-year tenure at Stamford Bridge at the start of March amid calls for Russian oligarchs to living abroad to face repercussions in the wake of Vladimir Putin ‘s invasion of Ukraine.
Sanctions imposed on Abramovich left the Blues doubting whether they would be able to finish the season even though they were issued with a sporting license to continue football-related activities.
However, in a major boost to Chelsea fans, the sale of the club may proceed after a deal was struck with government officials.
That is according to the Daily Telegraph, which claims Abramovich has instructed The Raine Group – the merchant bank overseeing the sale – to continue the process of finding a buyer and completing a takeover.
The report adds Chelsea and Raine officials have held talks with the government to agree the use of funds raised by the sale, as well as the buyer themselves, will require authorisation from on high.
A deadline of next Tuesday has been set for first bids to be submitted as Abramovich hopes for a swift sale.
There are said to be three American-headed consortiums leading the way in the race to purchase the two-time European champions.
The Todd Boehly-led group are believed to have submitted a bid in the region of £2billion and £2.5billion while the Ricketts family and Woody Johnson are also in the mix.
British tycoon Nick Candy is monitoring the situation and confirmed he is still weighing up making an offer. The property development giant will be present at Stamford Bridge on Sunday for the Premier League clash against Newcastle.
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