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Nick Candy increases Chelsea offer ‘significantly’

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Nick Candy has “significantly” increased his offer to buy Chelsea, a spokesman for the British property magnate has confirmed.

Chelsea fan Candy has secured additional funding through another South Korean backer, allowing the 49-year-old to submit an improved bid for the Stamford Bridge club.

Suitors Chelsea faced a nervous wait on Monday night as New York-based bank Raine Group drew up a shortlist of preferred bidders that could be as tight as three parties.

Nick Candy, left, with his wife Holly Valance, right (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Amid Candy’s improved offer, Chelsea and Fulham MP Greg Hands revealed a “helpful” phone call with Tom Ricketts, head of the Ricketts family’s bid to buy the Blues.

Candy added South Korean investors Hana Financial Group and C&P Sports Group to the offer it submitted to Raine Group on Friday.

But the London billionaire has now strengthened his hand, hoping to push on Raine’s shortlist.

“Nick Candy has improved its UK bid to buy Chelsea Football Club following the addition of another major international backer to its Blue Football Consortium,” a spokesperson for Candy said.

“Mr Candy submitted an offer of over £2billion to the Raine Group last Friday, but has now increased it significantly after another major Korean financial institution joined his consortium over the weekend.

“Proof of additional funds has been sent to The Raine Group.”

Russian invasion of Ukraine
Graffiti near Stamford Bridge shows the strength of fan sentiment around Chelsea’s new operating license (Yui Mok/PA)

Roman Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale on March 2, amid Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine.

The Russian-Israeli billionaire was then sanctioned by the British government on March 10, with Downing Street claiming to have proven the 55-year-old’s direct links to Vladimir Putin.

Abramovich’s UK assets are all frozen apart from Chelsea, with the club operating under a strict government license.

Abramovich cannot profit from the sale of Chelsea, but had already pledged to write off the club’s £1.5billion debt.

American-backed offers from LA Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly and Chicago Cubs owners the Ricketts family are among the favorites to take over at Chelsea.

Tory MP Hands even offered the Ricketts a boost by explaining a call with Chicago bidders on Monday night, insisting he was “happy to meet some other bidders.”

Sir Martin Broughton and Lord Sebastian Coe have tabled another strong bid, while Saudi Media Group are another of the bids expected to have weight, and Raine is moving fast through the process as Chelsea need a quick transfer of ownership.

2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships - Day 10 - Khalifa International Stadium
Lord Sebastian Coe, pictured, is among the candidates to buy Chelsea (Mike Egerton/PA)

London-based global investment firm Centricus confirmed its offer to buy Chelsea on Monday, with a consortium made up of four Blues supporters.

Centricus co-founder Nizar Al-Bassam and chief executive Garth Ritchie launched the offering, alongside Cheyne Capital hedge fund manager Jonathan Lourie and Bob Finch of Talis Capital.

However, Candy was refusing to give up on her “once in a lifetime” offer to buy Chelsea, with law firm Squire Patton Boggs firmly on board.

“The Blue Football Consortium has access to immediate capital with funds readily available for deployment from day one,” said Squire Patton Boggs Partner Brian Gordon.

“The offer comes from credible venturers with the highest rated attitude towards governance.”