Cubs owners drop effort to buy Chelsea FC

“It became increasingly clear that certain issues could not be addressed given the unusual dynamics around the sales process,” the group led by Tom Ricketts said after the bid deadline.

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Tom Ricketts and his family are reportedly one of several parties interested in making a bid for Chelsea FC.

Tom Ricketts

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times file

DENVER — The Ricketts family won’t be adding Chelsea FC to its business ventures after all.

The family, which owns the Cubs, was part of a prospective ownership group that also included investors Ken Griffin and Dan Gilbert. The consortium is withdrawing its bid for the English Premier League club.

‘‘The Ricketts-Griffin-Gilbert Group has decided, after careful consideration, not to submit a final bid for Chelsea FC,’’ the group said in a statement Friday. ‘‘In the process of finalizing their proposal, it became increasingly clear that certain issues could not be addressed given the unusual dynamics around the sales process. We have great admiration for Chelsea and its fans, and we wish the new owners well.’’

Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, who has owned Chelsea FC for almost two decades, put the club up for sale after public pressure and impending sanctions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

During the process, the Ricketts family became the subject of renewed outrage over patriarch Joe’s racist, Islamophobic emails, which originally leaked in 2019. The family again found itself denouncing the emails, this time to a fan base across the pond. But the consortium still advanced to the final stage, along with three other bids.

The Rickettses’ bid for Chelsea wasn’t the first instance of the family showing interest in buying a European soccer team. In 2018, the family expressed interest in buying a controlling stake in the storied Italian team AC Milan. That didn’t pan out, either.

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