Serena Williams and Lewis Hamilton have reportedly teamed up with Sir Martin Broughton’s bid to buy Chelsea, with the stars prepared to invest in buying the Stamford Bridge club.
According to Sky News, the seven-time Formula One champion and the 23-time Grand Slam winner are prepared to pledge £10million each to the deal. Chelsea is expected to be sold for around £2.5bn.
Broughton, the former chairman of British Airways and Liverpool FC, has apparently been in talks with the duo for weeks.
Despite the fact that Hamilton supports Chelsea’s London rivals Arsenal, Sky News said the formula 1 driver would ‘play a formal role in Chelsea’s future efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusion’ if Broughton’s bid ends up being successful.
Chelsea, the current Champions League holders, have been up for sale since March shortly before Russian owner Roman Abramovich was hit by sanctions from the government due to his ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Hamilton, 37, has spoken openly of his Arsenal fandom on several occasions. In 2018, when legendary coach Arsene Wenger announced he was going to leave the club, Hamilton said in an interview with Sky Sports: ‘I’ve had the privilege of meeting him a couple of times.
‘He asked me to go and train with the team, which I have not managed to do yet, but he was always really welcoming and it was cool to meet ‘our team’s boss. I’ve supported Arsenal since I was five.’
And in 2020, he revealed how his friends keep him up to date with Arsenal’s fortunes if he can’t watch a game due to his racing schedule.
‘I have been watching Arsenal play for a long time, being with them through the highs and lows. If I can’t keep up with the game, then my best friend will call me every day, to give me all the updates,’ he said.
Chelsea and Arsenal played each other in the Premier League on Wednesday night at Stamford Bridge, with Arsenal winning 4-2. It was the first Chelsea game where only season ticket holders and away fans were allowed into Stamford Bridge as part of the sanctions placed on Abramovich.
The 40-year-old Williams, meanwhile, is a part-owner of Los Angeles-based women’s team Angel City who will play their first match this year.
‘I think that’s really cool for athletes to own something. It’s interesting because you have a different type of pride when you’re there and you’re playing for something that you own,’ Williams said of her involvement in an Instagram live session with actress Natalie Portman, who is also a part-owner of Angel City.
‘It’s not really done in tennis, so it’s really interesting to have an opportunity to do that in a different sport. It would be a wonderful feeling to have that. You want to play better, to play harder – not only are you playing me, you’re playing me in my stadium.’
Steve Pagliuca, the owner of the NBA team Boston Celtics, is leading a rival bid to buy Chelsea and also owns a stake in the Italian Serie A team, Atalanta. He has partnered up with Larry Tanenbaum, who backs the Toronto Maple Leafs, and has committed to ‘lifetime ownership’ of Chelsea if their joint bid to buy the club is successful.