A group featuring former Chelsea captain John Terry is supporting Stephen Pagliuca’s bid to take over the Stamford Bridge outfit, with NBA chairman Larry Tanenbaum also involved.
A statement from the True Blues Consortium, which counts Terry and other former Blues players among its founders, expressed confidence in the ownership bid led by Pagliuca, who co-owns NBA outfit the Boston Celtics and Serie A side Atalanta.
Meanwhile, NBA chief Tanenbaum’s involvement in the bid, which had been reported earlier this week, was confirmed by Pagliuca, who also praised the True Blues consortium for their public support.
The True Blues group, which announced an intention to bid for a minority stake in the club last month, has now announced its public support for the 67-year-old’s takeover attempt.
“Having engaged [with] and being well received by all the bidders, we were recently able to spend some time with Steve and Larry,” the group said in a statement released to Sky News.
“Getting to know their bid, we’re again confident that they are aligned with Chelsea fans, and of course, have experience in this area of owning sports teams.
“We feel the club are in a fortunate position with the final bidders and look forward to continuing dialogue with them.”
Pagliuca spoke publicly about his ownership bid for the first time on Tuesday, pledging never to involve the club in a revived European Super League and suggesting that a redevelopment of Stamford Bridge or a new stadium would also feature in his plans.
The 67-year-old, who is the co-owner of American private investment firm Bain Capital, followed up with another statement on Wednesday, thanking the True Blues group for their support.
“The group welcomes the endorsement and support of the True Blues Consortium, an organisation dedicated to Chelsea FC and focused on representing fan interests for the club,” the statement read, as reported by ESPN.
Confirming Tanenbaum’s involvement, Pagliuca called the NBA chief “a world-class individual, who is highly regarded in the global sports community.”
He added: “His experience in sports governance, his long-term perspective, and civil construction expertise are tremendous assets for our group.”
Pagliuca also pledged to operate “quietly, with integrity” if he succeeds in taking over Roman Abramovich’s ownership of the club, confirming a bid will be formally made this week.
“This process has been a disconcerting time for the football club and fans,” he continued. “Throughout my life and career, my ethos has always been to operate quietly, with integrity, and let my actions and results speak loudly.
“However, it is imperative to clarify and assure supporters about our bid group and its commitments, to emphasise how seriously we take our potential responsibility to Chelsea.
“Later this week we will submit a substantial and credible bid proposal – one that we expect will meet the respective requirements and regulations of the Premier League, UK Government and UEFA – and we pledge to honour our commitment to credibility and good guardianship of Chelsea Football Club from day one.”