Sir Martin Broughton has been identified as the first-choice backup to buy Chelsea if Todd Boehly’s attempts to purchase the Blues fall through.
The LA Dodgers minority owner has been made the preferred bidder by Raine Group and has entered an exclusive negotiation period ahead of finalising a deal.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe arrived with a late bid for the Blues last week with a £4billion offer tabled and there were rumours that his presence could derail the process to date.
Boehly, along with Broughton and Steve Pagliuca have gone through rigorous stages of questioning and bidding to reach the current stage so it was unlikely Ratcliffe’s bid would stand a chance.
As reported by Ben Jacobs of CBS, Ratcliffe is not being considered as the back-up option should Boehly’s bid collapse.
That title has been given to Broughton’s bid, which contains the support of the likes of Sebastien Coe, Lewis Hamilton and Serena Williams.
Raine Group have reportedly committed in writing to Ratcliffe that his bid is not under consideration, all but ruling the current Nice owner out of the running.
The bid itself has not been withdrawn and continues to seek the support of Chelsea fans.
Earlier this week Tom Crotty, a director for Ratcliffe’s company INEOS, spoke out about the bid and revealed it has been rejected, though he has reaffirmed a promise to the fans.
Speaking to BNN Bloomberg, he said: “We’ve been rejected out of hand by Raine, but we will keep reminding people we are still here. We will continue to engage with the fanbase. We see ourselves as a fan-based bid.”