A decision on the next owner of the storied Chelsea soccer team could come by the end of the week, with Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca meeting with the club’s board of directors Wednesday in London.
Of the three remaining bidding groups, Pagliuca’s will get the final word with the five-member board and the Raine Group bank.
The presentation is for the Pagliuca group to finalize its bid and address remaining questions and concerns on a variety of topics, including team-building, marketing, and rehab of the club’s Stamford Bridge home.
The other two groups, one led by Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly, the other by Sir Martin Broughton, met with the board earlier this week.
After deliberations, the board will make its recommendation to the English Premier League.
The price tag of the final deal is expected to be roughly $3 billion. The timeline for consummation of such a massive deal is extraordinarily quick, sparked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine in late February. Sanctions applied by the British government forced Chelsea owner and Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich to put the team up for auction.
Selecting a winner as swiftly as possible works in favor of the club for competitive reasons, with the upcoming transfer window essential for Chelsea’s attempts to bolster and stabilize its star-studded international roster.
Pagliuca’s group is co-led by Larry Tanenbaum, owner of the Toronto Raptors, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Toronto FC.
In addition to his sports experience, Tanenbaum brings two other facets that should work in favor of his group’s bid.
With Stamford Bridge in need of significant rehab, the Tanenbaum family business has experience in both construction and retail development. Additionally, his philanthropic interests include Jewish causes, which align with Abramovich’s giving history.