Chelsea FC is still for sale! Here's how to get your last minute bid in

Football player
Photo: Nigel Msipa

You may have heard that the Chelsea Football Club is for sale. But if you're interested, you better get your bid in quickly as there's now a rather short shortlist of contenders.

It's been stiff competition to this point, including a who's who of global moguls, from Nick Candy of Hana Financial Investment and Swiss billionaire Hansjoerg Wyss, to London-based financial firm Aethel Partners, to name just a few in the mix.

So, what's the price for Chelsea?

Well, Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich is said to have paid around £140 million (US$233 million) for the club in 2003, according to The Sporting News. At that time, Chelsea hadn't won much of anything since the 1950s, so that price was deemed fair.

But things have changed and since, Abramovich has invested more than £1.5 billion to help turn the club into a Premier League powerhouse. So it comes as no surprise that last year Forbes suggested Chelsea’s value was now closer to £2.4 billion (US$3.2 billion). Don't panic! The asking price might not be quite so high. In fact, KPMG's Football Benchmark report puts the club's value a tad lower at about £1.56 billion. Phew. And yet, given the bidding that's going on, £2 billion might be a very real possibility.

Before you reconsider though, know that Abramovich is being forced to sell by the UK government and might seek a quick deal. He therefore, after all, might end up settling at a lower price point than expected.

But why is the club for sale right now?

Abramovich announced the sale in early March, coinciding with the conflict in the Ukraine. In short, the UK government has been forced to act with regard to supporters of Russia. And so Abramovich has been hit with an assets freeze and travel ban as part of sanctions targeting seven Russian oligarchs, as per news outlet, Al Jazeera. The club continues to operate but the UK government is pretty much in charge for now.

Are there any risks to making this purchase?

As is the case with any large purchase, always check the fine print. There may be risks in owning assets in Europe, especially right now with so much uncertainty. Plus, you should know a thing or two about football before leaping in here. A losing campaign in England can lead to a club being relegated from the highly lucrative Premier League to a lower and less lucrative comp. Not good.

Chelsea also has a small stadium, limiting its ticket sales to around 40,000 per fixture - so don't count on that. By contrast, London rivals such as Tottenham have more than 60,000 seats at their home ground. And the problem with redevelopment plans is getting approval from Chelsea fans who have a stake in such decisions.

Can you make money buying a club?

Sure you can but costs are high, especially given the huge contracts of star players. According to a BBC report a few years back, Premier League clubs have three strong sources of potential revenue - TV money, commercial activities and gate receipts. However, these have to be stacked up against whopping investments in signing expensive players and operating world class facilities for them.

Given this, you might prefer buying a much smaller suburban club, for which a personal loan might cover you. But if you're still keen on the prestige of owning a football mega-brand ...

How can you pay for your new football club?

Far be it from me to tell you how to organise your billions. But just as you would borrow money for a home or car, there are ways to borrow money to purchase football teams. Apart from your own spare cash and an impeccable credit history - plus some very large and lucrative assets on your books - your best bet here is a line of credit or a supersized business loan.

Of course, this is the sort of borrowing that probably isn't a part of your standard banking package. To jump into the hundreds of millions and even billions, you'll possibly need to expand your circle of associates to credit funds, hedge fund managers and institutional investors.

Listen, you're the billionaire here, you know who to talk to! If you've exhausted all of the avenues for raising money, a specific approach could be through an asset-based loan, which is usually accompanied by lower interest rates - but FYI, a lender can seize your assets if you default.

Many financial services companies use asset-based lending, including the big global players in investment banking such as Goldman Sachs, Citi and JP Morgan. I'm sure they'd love to take your call about your footballing aspirations.

Where are final bids sent?

I suppose you could call up the Chelsea switch and ask. They also have an email contact form on the club site. Listen, the most logical move might be to simply send your bid straight to No.10 Downing Street. Good luck with it all!

So after all that, you're sticking with a more modest investment? Mozo stacks up the top personal loans on the market - check out our Personal Loans hub to get started.