throwing his hat in the ring
Following reports that U.K.'s Premier League Football Club Chelsea — owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, who's currently under fire for alleged ties to the Kremlin — would be going up for sale, Irish MMA and UFC superstar Conor McGregor publicly shared his interest in a deal.
"I wish to explore this," McGregor wrote in a tweet directed at the club. He also included in his message a screenshot of a WhatsApp conversation in which he wrote to an unknown recipient, "Chelsea for sale £3bn," then "let's buy it."
Just days ago, Abramovich, 55, had announced he would be transferring the "stewardship and care" of his football club to its charitable arm, The New York Times reports. It was a decision "seemingly designed to distance the club from the impact of any possible sanctions levied by the British government against him as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine."
Per ESPN, Abramovich has consistently denied he has any connection to Russian President Vladimir Putin, though he has been named on "several occasions as a suitable target" for the aforementioned U.K. government sanctions, the Times adds.
Once it became clear, however, that transferring the club to trustees of its charity could both take too long and perhaps fail, "Abramovich and his advisers sought a new plan: a sale," reports the Times.
Prospective investors must prepare an outline of their bid by the end of the week. Interested parties (not counting McGregor's apparent Twitter bid) reportedly include Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss, and investor and part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers Todd Boehly, perhaps among others. Abramovich is asking for at least $2.5 billion.