Abramovich Chelsea owner announced he was putting the west London club up for sale.

Chelsea will not have a queue of buyers lining up outside Stamford Bridge, according to one of the advisors who helped Roman Abramovich purchase the Premier League club in 2003.

Abramovich announced he was putting the west London club up for sale after 19 trophy-laden years on Wednesday in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In all likelihood there aren’t going to be 20 or 30 people queuing up to buy this, investment banker and corporate takeover advisor Keith Harris told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme on Friday.

It’s like buying a house that’s very expensive: it will appeal to a limited population of buyers.

It’s a rare beast that has the odd three billion pounds lying in a back pocket.

Metals magnate Abramovich bought the team for 140 million pounds ($185.93 million) and people familiar with the matter say he expects the club to fetch three billion pounds.

The Russian said he would not ask for loans he has made to the Premier League club – reported to total 1.5 billion pounds ($2.0 billion) to be repaid to him and the sale would not be fast-tracked.

He has told his aides to set up a charitable foundation which would receive all net proceeds from the sale.

Harris said he expected Chelsea to be in new hands before the start of next season.

One of the questions being asked in the circles I mix in is ‘Who do you think will own Chelsea at the start of next season?’ I think if ten were asked eight would probably say Roman Abramovich, he said.

I’m not one of the eight. I think there will be a deal done, but if it’s done within the next three months that’s as quickly as it will be done.

Harris also said it would be hard to make a profit from Chelsea who reported a 145.6 million pounds loss in December.

At £2bn it’s possible you could make a return on it. At £3bn it’s a much harder ask, he said.

It appears that over the years Roman has clocked up £1.5bn of loans to the club. Over the 19 years that he’s owned it, it’s probably only two years that it’s actually made a cash profit.

On Thursday, a spokesperson for chemicals company INEOS said there was no substance in reports that its chairman, British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, was interested in buying Chelsea.


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