New York Jets owner Robert “Woody” Johnson is apparently gearing up to try to purchase Chelsea FC.
Johnson is preparing his bid to try to buy the English Premier League club, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Johnson has already spoken with the Raine Group, which is organizing bids for the sale of the club, per the report. It’s unclear what his bid will look like, and who else is attempting to purchase the club.
Current Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has said that he is ready to sell the team following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Russian oligarch — who has come under pressure since the invasion and is reportedly close to Russian president Vladimir Putin — has owned the club since 2003. He is reportedly looking for at least $2.5 billion.
The Johnson family purchased the Jets in 2000 for $635 million. Woody’s brother, Christopher, previously served as the team’s chairman and CEO. Woody recently served as the United States ambassador to the United Kingdom during President Donald Trump’s administration and is now the team’s chairman.
If Johnson is successful, he’d be the latest NFL owner to jump into the EPL. Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke owns Arsenal FC, and Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan owns Fulham FC. The Glazer family, which owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, also owns Manchester United. San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York holds a minority stake in Leeds United, too. Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James also owns a minority share of Liverpool FC.
Kings owner Vivek Ranadive preparing Chelsea bid
Ranadive purchased the Kings in 2013 for $534 million, which was then a record. If he is successful in his bid, Ranadive would be the first person of Indian descent to own a top-teir EPL club, per the report.
It’s unclear what Ranadive’s bid will look like, or if he has any other partners involved.