Chelsea takeover: Lewis Hamilton and Serena Williams join Sir Martin Broughton’s consortium | football news

Lewis Hamilton and Serena Williams are pledging millions of pounds in one of the bids vying to become Chelsea’s new owners.

sky news can exclusively reveal the full list of investors backing the club’s takeover bid spearheaded by Sir Martin Broughton, former chairman of Liverpool and British Airways, the most prominent of which are the seven-time Formula 1 world champion and former number one 1 in world tennis.

Sources close to the group said Hamilton and Williams, the highest-profile members of any of the three remaining consortia, had pledged an estimated £10m each for the bid.

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Both Hamilton, who will compete with Mercedes in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola this weekend, live sky sports – and Williams, who has won 23 Grand Slams including seven Wimbledon titles, have become established investors in their own right in recent years.

Serena Ventures, the tennis star’s venture capital fund, this week announced an investment in Opensponsorship, a British-based sports technology startup, while Hamilton has backed a variety of early-stage companies such as Zapp, fast grocery delivery based in London. application

His involvement in the Chelsea auction is unexpected, especially since Hamilton is an Arsenal fan.

However, Hamilton and Williams have been in talks with the Broughton-led group for several weeks.

It was unclear Thursday morning which corporate entities the couple would use to invest in the Blues.

Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton in the stands
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Sir Martin Broughton is a former Liverpool chairman

The consortium is exclusively British-led among the trio of shortlisted bidders and counts another UK sporting icon in the form of Sebastian Coe among its sponsors.

A source close to the group said the addition of Hamilton and Williams was a serious investment decision given their experience building global sports brands.

They also noted that the pair’s involvement was not the first time famous athletes had supported a Premier League club: NBA star LeBron James has been a small shareholder in Liverpool for more than a decade.

Under the consortium’s plans, Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (HBSE), the holding company headed by US private equity billionaires Josh Harris and Dave Blitzer, would have a majority stake in Chelsea, although they must first divest themselves of their minority stake in Crystal Palace. to complete a deal.

His involvement in owning and managing Crystal Palace since 2015 is also a distinguishing factor among other Chelsea bidders.

The other investors in the Broughton-led group include: the Rogers family of Canada, which has a major interest in telecommunications and media company Rogers Communications; John Arnold, who chaired the bid committee for the 2026 FIFA World Cup Houston; and the Tsai family from Taiwan, which owns the Taipei Fubon Braves and Fubon Guardians baseball teams.

Sebastian Coe
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Sebastian Coe is a Chelsea supporter and part of Broughton’s bid for the club.

What sky news reported Monday that Alejandro Santo Domingo, heir to one of the world’s largest beer fortunes and an investor in several North American sports franchises, is also investing in the offering.

Sources close to the Broughton-led bid said the diversity of its global investor roster was one of the factors that persuaded Hamilton and Williams to get involved.

A source suggested that Hamilton is likely to play a formal role in Chelsea’s future efforts to promote diversity, fairness and inclusion if the bid is successful.

He and Williams have been advocates in their respective sports and beyond in promoting equality, lending their names to numerous anti-discrimination initiatives.

That problem was highlighted earlier in the Chelsea sale process when one of the bidders, a consortium led by the Ricketts family, which owns the Chicago Cubs, was forced to distance itself from historic Islamophobic comments.

The Broughton consortium is said to believe it is best placed of the remaining consortiums to navigate the complexities of owning Chelsea, including the possible redevelopment of its Stamford Bridge home.

The other remaining bidders in the race to buy Chelsea are consortiums led by Todd Boehly, co-owner of the LA Dodgers baseball team, and Steve Pagliuca, who owns stakes in the NBA’s Boston Celtics and Series A’s Atalanta.

The consortium led by the Ricketts family withdrew its offer last weekand it is understood that the members of the bid could not agree on the final composition of the deal.

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