Nick Candy Chelsea 2021-22Getty Images

Chelsea sale: 'Preferred bidders', the Raine Group & when buyers will be updated on Blues takeover

Raine Group, the New York investment bank running the sale of Chelsea on behalf of Roman Abramovich, has set a target for when to announce the 'preferred bidders'.

The process will narrow down the bids, of which six are known to GOAL, to just three, and those will be pored over in more detail by lawyers at Chelsea and the Premier League.

There have been several late changes to bids permitted since the Friday, March 18 9pm GMT (5pm ET) deadline which has slowed the process down slightly.

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When will an announcement on Chelsea's preferred bidders be made?

Raine Group is hoping to make the decision on which bidders will go to the next stage of the process by Tuesday, March 22.

Who is Raine Group?

Joe Ravitch, who is the co-founder of investment bank Raine Group LLC, was initially asked by Abramovich to find a new owner for his club.

After Abramovich was sanctioned by the United Kingdom and European Union, the group was instructed to continue its work to find a new owner. 

It works in consultation with Abramovich, the UK Government through the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the senior staff at Chelsea.

Who are the preferred bidders for Chelsea?

Although the eventual owner of Chelsea is currently not known by anybody, there are feelings around the process that a United States consortium will win.

Even still, those from other countries are not giving up, with Centricus going public about their offer to buy Chelsea which is thought to be worth a whopping £3 billion ($3.9bn).

The London-based global investment firm is being led by co-founder Nizar Al-Bassam and CEO Garth Ritchie.

It is working with hedge fund manager Jonathan Lourie of Cheyne Capital, and Talis Capital’s Bob Finch, who are all said to be long-time Chelsea season-ticket holders.

Their plans include investing in the first team, academy, women's team and Chelsea Foundation. They have also outlined their intention to keep the current management running the club at all levels.

There are also more details emerging of Nick Candy's bid, which is in partnership with investors from Europe, the United States and South Korea.

Todd Boehly 2021Getty Images

He has named his group the Blue Football Consortium £2bn ($2.6bn) and he promises a high level of fan involvement, including the issuing of a 'golden share' in the club, voting rights and an advisory board for supporters.

The proposal also involves former Blues striker Gianluca Vialli and his company Tifosy Capital & Advisory.

PrimaryBid, a tech platform, is in discussions about facilitating those ideas on behalf of Candy's consortium.

Alongside Candy, there's offers from the US led by the Ricketts Family, who own the Chicago Cubs, and Todd Boehly, who owns the Los Angeles Dodgers, has created a consortium with Hansjorg Wyss and Jonathan Goldstein.

Furthermore, as first revealed by GOAL, Saudi Media believes its bid to buy Chelsea is competitive and is awaiting further details from Raine.

From the UK, Lord Sebastian Coe has put together a proposal with former Liverpool chairman Sir Martin Broughton.

What is the situation with John Terry's bid?

John Terry is the public face of the True Blues consortium which is offering to buy 10 per cent for £250 million ($329m).

Now, as a minority partner, they aren't officially allowed to negotiate with Raine so their inclusion in any bid will be a 'bolt on' allowing any player a vehicle for fan involvement in the process.

That means that they must negotiate with the preferred bidders once they are revealed.

Despite going public about the bid on Saturday, not all the details have been released to Blues supporters, but the group has several private backers. Alongside that, they are promising to issue fan tokens with voting rights to wealthy supporters.

Chelsea are hoping to complete this process as soon as possible with the club remaining under sanctions through their owner Roman Abramovich who was said to have connections to Russia's president Vladimir Putin by the UK Government.

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