Controversial Chelsea bidders pledge to oppose European Super League plans

The Ricketts family have announced how they will run Chelsea if their bid to succeed Roman Abramovich is successful

The Ricketts family, the group who are among the favorites to purchase Premier League giants Chelsea, have moved to allay fans' concerns about their potential takeover from Roman Abramovich by announcing an eight point plan on how they intend to run the club should their bid be deemed successful. 

Among the pledges announced by the Ricketts, who own the baseball team the Chicago Cubs, is a vow to oppose and never participate in the European Super League, the prospective football tournament which was temporarily agreed upon last year by a host of Europe's elite clubs but which was met with extreme fan opposition. 

The move by the cash-rich family to announce some of their intentions comes a day after protests outside Chelsea's Stamford Bridge stadium in London before their match with Brentford in which some supporters made clear their opposition to the Ricketts' bid due to historical emails sent by Joe Ricketts, the family patriarch, in which he expressed Islamophobic views.

But in what appears to be a move to clear the air with Chelsea fans the leaders of the bid, brother and sister Tom and Laura Ricketts, outlined their initial strategy and vowed to safeguard Chelsea's position at the forefront of European football.

We will never participate in a European Super League and always protect the integrity and heritage of Chelsea F.C. We will commit the resources necessary across all levels of the club to continue winning trophies, including investing in the first team, experienced football leadership and the academy," they announced.

We will put diversity and inclusion at the heart of the club and fight against any form of discrimination or inequality. We will create an advisory committee with diverse representation to ensure our decisions are informed by: a former men’s and women’s first team player, members of the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust and Chelsea Pitch Owners, and influential community leaders.

We will explore every option to redevelop Stamford Bridge and do everything in our power to keep playing in this historic stadium. We will match the current commitment to Chelsea FC Women and increase the number of women’s matches played at Stamford Bridge.

We will continue the vital charitable work of the Chelsea Foundation, seeking to use the power of football and sport to motivate, educate and inspire.”

Tom Ricketts has offered his apologies for the Islamophobic accusations levied at his family, calling the language used in the offending emails “abhorrent”, and has moved to build closer relationships with Muslim figures within Chicago.

It is understood that the Ricketts' bid is funded entirely in cash, which means that Chelsea most likely won't be saddled with debt should the takeover be completed.

The winner bidder is expected to be revealed sometime in April, with the shortlist having been established a month or so removed from Abramovich announcing that he was to sell the club he initially purchased in 2003 after he was sanctioned by the UK government due to alleged links to the Kremlin following the onset of Russia's military operation in Ukraine.

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