Billionaire Nick Candy watched as Chelsea beat Newcastle 1-0 from the stands at Stamford Bridge today as he considered a takeover bid for the Premier League club.
The 49-year-old property tycoon himself is a Chelsea fan and a longtime season-ticket holder.
Chelsea sources had warned that the club was two weeks away from bankruptcy after the government hit Abramovich with sanctions because of his close ties with Vladimir Putin.
However, fans still displayed a ‘Roman Empire’ Abramovich banner with links to Russian dictator Putin in support of his aristocratic boss, who has been accused of war crimes during the invasion of Ukraine.
The match ended 1–0 in Chelsea’s favor after a goal from Kai Havertz (pictured) in the 89th minute.
49-year-old billionaire Nick Candy (centre) watched Chelsea beat Newcastle 1-0 from the stands at Stamford Bridge today as he considered a takeover bid for the Premier League club.
Mr Candy’s interest comes with a £1.5bn plan to renovate Stamford Bridge, something that will tick the box of looking after the club’s future which Abramovich is keen to see in a potential buyer
Supporters still display a banner dedicated to the oligarch Roman Abramovich, his owner since 2003
Nick Candy, pictured with wife Holly Vallance, is a Chelsea season ticket holder and a lifelong fan of the club
Mr Candy’s interest comes with a £1.5bn plan to renovate Stamford Bridge, something that will tick the box of looking after the club’s future which Abramovich is keen to see in a potential buyer.
The 49-year-old’s broad portfolio of property developments could also appeal to potential consortium investors who need to improve Chelsea’s landmark to drive match revenue.
Outside the stadium today he said fans should be ‘on board and financially, involved in ownership’.
“I love Chelsea, I don’t care where it ends, as long as it’s in safe hands,” he told Sky Sports.
He said the best bids were coming on Friday.
The stadium plans may also particularly appeal to Abramovich. This was something the elite saw in itself and were willing to pay up to £2bn to modernize Stamford Bridge, which it felt would secure its Chelsea legacy in return.
Chelsea announced plans in 2015 to build a 60,000-seat stadium on the same site and two years later received planning permission after a protracted battle with local residents.
But in 2018 the project was shelved after Abramovich’s visa renewal was blocked by the government in light of the Salisbury poisonings.
Candy told The Telegraph on Wednesday of his interest, ‘We’re looking at what the art of Sambhav is.
Fans were previously criticized for showing support for Abramovich, who has close ties with Russian dictator and alleged war criminal Vladimir Putin.
Candy and his younger brother Christian are British luxury-property developers with an estimated net worth of £1.5 billion.
Together they formed a property development company, Candy & Candy, in 1999.
The brothers’ previous high-profile projects include London’s One Hyde Park, NoHo Square and the redevelopment of the former Chelsea Barracks.
Candy will put some price of its own in the acquisition, but is also in talks with US investors about forming a consortium.
The match ended 1–0 in Chelsea’s favor in the 89th minute after a goal from Kai Havertz (pictured)
Candy is married to actress and singer Holly Vallance and they have two children.
A Candy spokesperson said: ‘Mr Candy has a huge relationship with Chelsea.
‘His father was asked to play for the club and he has been watching matches at Stamford Bridge since he was four years old.
“The club deserves a world class stadium and infrastructure and Mr Kandy’s unique expertise and background in real estate will be a hugely valuable asset to deliver this vision.
Embattled Chelsea football club was thrown a lifeline last night as ministers agreed it could be sold by its sanctioned Russian owner Roman Abramovich after being disqualified as the club’s director.
Strict restrictions were eased to allow the sale after the 55-year-old oligarch reportedly agreed that he would not receive any proceeds from the £3 billion deal.
Abramovich was also said to have agreed to forgive £1.5bn of debt owed to Chelsea, which he had bought in 2003.
There was alarm from fans that the restrictions imposed on Friday would mean Abramovich could not sell the club, leaving him paralyzed. Barclays had frozen the club’s bank accounts.
But after crisis talks yesterday, the government eased the terms of a ‘special licence’ to allow Chelsea to trade in a limited capacity.
Technology Minister Chris Philippe previously criticized some Chelsea fans who chanted Roman Abramovich in support of the club’s owner who sanctioned the Russian invasion.
Abramovich (pictured) was said to have agreed to forgo a £1.5bn loan over Chelsea, which he had bought in 2003.
Roman Abramovich will not be allowed to sell to Chelsea, while unprecedented additional measures are in place to ensure he cannot profit from its activities
Chelsea sources had warned the club was two weeks out of bankruptcy after ministers hit Abramovich with sanctions because of his close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The government claims Mr Abramovich received financial benefits from the Kremlin, including tax breaks for his companies, the purchase and sale of shares from the state at favorable rates, and contacts leading up to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
He told Times Radio: ‘I’m a football fan myself, I’m a Palace fan, in south London. So, I understand why fans are so attached to their football clubs.
‘But Roman Abramovich is the man who has now, tomorrow morning, been cleared of his very close ties to Vladimir Putin and the Putin regime.
‘I just say respectfully to Chelsea fans, I know they have done a lot for the club, but what are the humanitarian conditions in Ukraine and the Russian regime doing to civilians – shelling maternity hospitals and shooting civilians who are fleeing human corridors – and this is more important than football’.
What can and what can Chelsea do now after the sanctions on Abramovich?
- play all their matches at home and away;
- Pay the salaries of players and staff;
- Provide stewards, security and food and drink for fans, subject to a spending limit of £500,000;
- Receive TV broadcast revenue and prize money – although it will be frozen;
- The sale of the club could potentially still go ahead, unless Abramovich benefits financially.
can not do
- Sell tickets to fans at home or outside – only existing ticket holders will be allowed to participate;
- agree to any new transfers or contracts;
- Sell merchandise in the stadium or online;
- spend more than £20,000 on long distance travel;
- Carrying out any construction work on Stamford Bridge.