Tom Ricketts has started the process of trying to appease Chelsea supporters after meeting some of the American contingent of fans. London will be the next step if the Ricketts family’s bid makes the ever-anticipated Raine Group shortlist.
The likes of Todd Boehly’s consortium, the Ricketts family’s collaboration with Ken Griffin, and Nick Candy are some of the likely front runners in the race. But there are also outliers such as the Saudi Media group who stand a chance at winning the bid.
Whilst the Raine Group prepare for the next stage of the takeover process, the interested parties are now planning on how to best integrate themselves into the club if they are to be the chosen new owner. The Ricketts family have received some opposition from sections of support on social media, especially after historical emails sent by Joe Ricketts emerged last week.
The #NoToRicketts campaign has intended to derail their bid to takeover the current world and European champions. That is despite gaining the approval from senior Muslim groups in Chicago, coupled with their statement reinforcing their no tolerance stance on racism and discrimination.
On the contrary, historical figures linked to Chelsea such as Paul Canoville have voiced their disapproval to seeing this family become Abramovich’s successor. Nonetheless, on Wednesday morning, a spokesperson for the family released this statement: “Our family rejects any form of hate in the strongest possible terms. Racism and Islamophobia have no place whatsoever in our society. We have developed deep and abiding partnerships with all the Muslim community in Chicago, as well as with all communities of colour.
“Respect for diversity and inclusion are central to our family’s values. If we prevail in our bid for Chelsea, we commit to the Club and to the fans that we will actively promote these values.” With the London trip still on the agenda, one of the younger members of the family Tom Ricketts has already shown his intentions to build bridges that have been set alight by this social media backlash.
To do this, Ricketts sent out his representatives to meet two members of the Chicago Chelsea supporters club, as confirmed by one of the heads of the group. Baku Brian (@brienwulff) tweeted to confirm the news: “Tonight Carlos Del Pozo & I met with a direct representative to Tom Ricketts. We delivered the below statement & discussed a wide-range of supporter issues & concerns. We appreciate the effort to hear us on behalf of CFC fans globally. Talks will continue.”
How long these talks continue for remain unknown, with the eagerly anticipated shortlist set to be released. The social media backlash has meant that the Ricketts Family have gone from being favourites to make the final four to being a doubt to even make the cut.