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Mushin Bayrak in talks to buy Chelsea but Abramovich will demand guarantees from prospective owners

Roman Abramovich will seek guarantees from prospective new Chelsea owners over their plans for the club's future with Turkish billionaire Muhsin Bayrak in talks to buy the Blues

Roman Abramovich will demand guarantees from prospective Chelsea owners that they have the resources to maintain the club’s place among the European elite before agreeing to sell.

The Russian is understood to regard the buyer’s plans for the future of the club as equally significant as the price in determining whether to sanction a sale, a factor not to be overlooked as other potential bidders emerged yesterday.

Abramovich is deeply concerned by his image and legacy at Chelsea, as has been made evident by the number of carefully choreographed statements released on his behalf over the last week.

A desire to secure his legacy was his main motivation in his plans to rebuild Stamford Bridge at a cost of between £1.4billion and £2.2bn, an extraordinary project that made little financial sense, as even if it was achieved it would have delivered only a modest increase in revenue. Abramovich’s advisers have set his initial asking price at around £3bn, but future owners will also have to demonstrate they have the finances to continue funding the club’s large wage bill.

Turkish businessman Muhsin Bayrak yesterday claimed he had opened negotiations about buying the club, but a source close to Abramovich expressed scepticism about all the bidders who have publicly revealed their hands to date, including the Swiss/American partnership of Hansjorg Wyss and Todd Boehly.

Bayrak is the chairman of Istanbul-based investment company AB Group Holdings, who have many of their investments in cryptocurrency.

We are negotiating the terms of the purchase of Chelsea with Roman Abramovich’s lawyers,’ said Bayrak.

We are in the negotiation phase for the signatures. We will fly the Turkish flag in London soon.

‘Our lawyers and Roman Abramovich’s lawyers have been in touch since the first day Chelsea entered the sales process. We are planning to sign soon.’

Abramovich’s main sales adviser, Joe Ravitch, insisted yesterday that the sale would not be fast-tracked despite fears of Government sanctions.

‘It is very important that Chelsea have the right owner to guide the club forward,’ he said.

The Raine Group, an American merchant bank, have set a deadline of March 15 for potential buyers to submit their bids.

 

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