Consortium of Lewis Hamilton and Serena Williams Broughton

Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge stadium is seen through the trees in London on March 10, 2022, as Chelsea’s Russian owner Roman Abramovich faced a UK asset freeze and travel ban that ruined his plans to sell European and world club champions.

Justin Tallis | Afp | Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton and Serena Williams are investing millions of pounds in one of the proposals to become the new owners of Chelsea.

sky news may exclusively reveal the full complement of investors backing a takeover bid for the club led by Sir Martin Broughton, former chairman of Liverpool and British Airways, most notably the seven-time F1 world champion and former world No. 1 women’s tennis player.

Sources close to the group said that Hamilton and Williams – the most senior members of any of the three remaining consortiums – have pledged about £10m each to the bid.

Both Hamiltons, who will drive for Mercedes at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix at Imola this weekend, are live. Sky Sport – and Williams, who has won 23 Grand Slams, including seven Wimbledon titles, have become independent investors in recent years.

Serena Ventures, the tennis star’s venture capital fund, this week announced an investment in Opensponsorship, a British sports tech startup, while Hamilton has backed a number of start-ups such as Zapp, a London-based fast food delivery service. Appendix.

Their participation in the Chelsea auction is unexpected – not least because Hamilton is a fan of Arsenal.

However, Hamilton and Williams have been negotiating with the Broughton-led group for several weeks now.

On Thursday morning, it was unclear which legal entities the pair would use to invest in the Blues.

The consortium is clearly British-led among the three shortlisted contenders, and among its supporters is another British sports icon in Sebastian Coe.

A source close to the group said the addition of Hamilton and Williams was a major investment decision due to their experience in building global sports brands.

They also noted that the pair’s involvement was not the first time famous athletes have supported a Premier League club – NBA star LeBron James has been a minor shareholder in Liverpool for more than a decade.

According to the consortium’s plans, Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (HBSE), a holding company led by American private equity billionaires Josh Harris and Dave Blitzer, will own a majority stake in Chelsea, although they will have to give up their minority stake before doing so. Crystal Palace. to the completion of the deal.

Their involvement in the ownership and management of Crystal Palace since 2015 is also a differentiating factor among Chelsea’s remaining contenders.

Other investors in the Broughton-led group include: the Canadian Rogers family, which has a strong interest in media and telecommunications company Rogers Communications; John Arnold, who chaired the Houston bid committee to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup; and the Taiwanese Tsai family, who own the Taipei Fubon Braves and Fubon Guardians baseball teams.

As sky news As reported Monday, Alejandro Santo Domingo, heir to one of the world’s largest brewing fortunes and investor in several North American sports franchises, is also investing in the proposal.

Sources close to Broughton’s proposal said the diversity of his list of global investors was one of the factors that convinced Hamilton and Williams to get involved.

One insider suggested that Hamilton would likely play an official role in Chelsea’s future efforts to promote diversity, fairness and inclusion, if the bid is successful.

He and Williams have been champions within their respective sports and beyond in promoting equality, lending their names to numerous anti-discrimination initiatives.

The issue was brought to the fore earlier in the Chelsea sale, when one of the bidders, a consortium led by the Ricketts family that owns the Chicago Cubs, was forced to distance itself from historic Islamophobic remarks.

Broughton’s consortium is said to believe it is better than any other consortium in coping with the complexities of owning Chelsea, including a proposed redevelopment of its home at Stamford Bridge.

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