Fresh doubt surrounds Chelsea’s proposed sale after it was reported that owner Roman Abramovich wanted to change the structure of the deal.
Having previously indicated he was prepared to write off more than £1.5billion of debt owed by the club to another of his companies, he is now said to have demanded that it be paid to a separate Jersey-based entity which appears have ties to his business empire.
Russian Abramovich was sanctioned by the government following the invasion of Ukraine and is not entitled to receive the proceeds from the sale.
On Friday, bankers acting for Abramovich named a consortium led by LA Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly as the preferred bidder for Chelsea.
Boehly’s group have been given a five-day exclusivity period to complete a deal, which is expected to top £2.5billion and become the most expensive sports team ever traded.
British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe has shaken up the sale process by submitting an 11 a.m. bid for the Premier League club on Friday.
The Ineos boss has now held initial talks with groups of Chelsea fans but remains the outsider in the running to buy the west London outfit.
Other bidders include groups led by former British Airways chairman Sir Martin Broughton and Bain Capital co-founder Steve Pagliuca.
City AM approached a spokesperson for Abramovich for comment.