By Nick Purewal and Philip Duncan, PA
Sir Martin Broughton believes his bid to buy Chelsea would offer the biggest immediate cash injection into the Stamford Bridge club, the PA news agency understands.
Sir Lewis Hamilton and Serena Williams have bolstered Broughton’s bid for the Premier League club, with the former British Airways chairman among the final three consortiums vying for the west London club.
Seven-time Formula One champion Hamilton and 23-time tennis Grand Slam winner Williams are understood to have been on board in Broughton’s consortium for several weeks.
American private equity billionaires Josh Harris and David Blitzer would hold the controlling stake in Broughton’s bid, it is understood.
The duo would need to divest their minority shareholding in Crystal Palace before completing a deal, but Eagles chairman Steve Parish has already revealed a relaxed position on securing replacement investment for the Selhurst Park club.
Canada’s Rogers family and Taiwan’s Tsai family, owners of the Taipei Fubon Braves and Fubon Guardians baseball teams, are also involved in the Broughton consortium.
Broughton is understood to be confident that his group of investors would hand Chelsea access to the most capital of the three consortiums competing to buy the Stamford Bridge club.
A spokesperson for Formula One star Hamilton confirmed the 37-year-old’s involvement in Broughton’s bid.
“We can confirm that Lewis has joined the Sir Martin Broughton bid,” a spokesperson for Hamilton told the PA news agency.
Broughton has partnered with Lord Sebastian Coe on their bid to buy Chelsea, with both lifelong Blues fans determined to take the Stamford Bridge helm.
World Athletics president and London 2012 chief Coe’s presence adds political and sports administration clout, with Broughton having held a short chairmanship at Liverpool to help the Reds transition to their current owners.
Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly and Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca head up the other two consortiums left in the running to buy Chelsea from Roman Abramovich.
Russian-Israeli billionaire Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale on March 2nd, amid Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine.
The 55-year-old was then sanctioned by the UK Government on March 10th, with Downing Street claiming to have proven his links to Vladimir Putin.
Chelsea have been granted a special Government licence to continue operating, although under strict terms.
Abramovich cannot profit from Chelsea’s sale, but had already vowed to write off the club’s £1.5billion (€1.8 billion) debt.
New York merchant bank the Raine Group must select a preferred bidder in the race to buy Chelsea, with the Government then to grant a new licence for the sale to complete the process.