Roman Abramovich is demanding $3 billion (£2.2bn) to sell Chelsea after rejecting an offer from Los Angeles Dodgers’ co-owner Todd Boehly, according to reports.
Abramovich, who bought Chelsea in 2003, has been linked with selling the club after encountering difficulties in renewing his UK visa in 2018, which has prevented him from regularly attending games at Stamford Bridge.
But the 53-year-old watched his first competitive Chelsea match in more than a year in May as his club beat Arsenal in the Europa League final in Baku.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Boehly’s offer to buy Chelsea was rejected by Abramovich in November.
The report claims that Boehly’s bid fell short of Abramovich’s $3bn (£2.2bn) valuation of Chelsea.
Boehly, who owns 20 per cent of Major League Baseball side Los Angeles Dodgers, has also been linked with a takeover bid for Tottenham earlier this year.
‘Football’s the biggest sport in the world,’ Boehly said in an interview with Bloomberg in September.
‘The passion that the fans have for the sport and the teams is unparalleled. ‘So when you start to think about what you’re trying to build with these teams you’re really trying to win and be part of a community.
Opportunity that we had with the Dodgers was really about a partnership with Los Angeles. How are we going to win? How are we going to drive championships? How are we going to build passion? ‘If you look at what the Premier League offers it’s all of those things.
‘It’s the highest quality play, it’s the best players.
‘You also have a media market that’s just really developing. One of the great things the Premier League has is that it’s on Saturday morning in America. So, you have an uncongested time slot that is now fully dominated by Premier League.
‘NBC has done an amazing job bringing that content. When I was growing up there was Pac-Man and Donkey Kong, but certainly I didn’t know about Man United, I didn’t know about Chelsea, I didn’t know about Tottenham. ‘Kids these days are fully aware of what’s the best and Premier League these days are the best.’
Asked to rate his chances of buying a Premier League club, Boehly replied: ‘You can never predict these things.
‘One of the nice things about them is that they are relationship driven and people driven, and therefore it’s unlikely one gets put up and sold by auction.
‘So by developing long-term relationships and getting to know them, ultimately, whether or not something happens I don’t know, but I do know I’ve learned a lot, I’ve learned a lot about what the fanbase looks like, I’ve learned about the global opportunity.
‘To me the fact is that it’s the best product in the world.
‘I continue to believe there is global opportunity for the best ones [teams].
‘I don’t think you should expect 30 per cent return on them but I also think they are very stable and unlikely to fall off the face of the map.’