Chelsea’s four potential new owners have a deadline of April 11 to submit their final offers to buy the Premier League club.
New York merchant bank Raine Group set the deadline for final offers to keep Chelsea on track to have new owners in May, according to the PA news agency.
Chelsea’s remaining suitors will have the opportunity to table enhanced bids to buy the club from Stamford Bridge, with commitments required for at least £1billion in future spending.
Chelsea have asked Raine to seek out these future spending commitments in a bid to safeguard the future of the London club at football’s elite level.
Boston Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca was the latest addition to the four-person shortlist to buy Chelsea on Friday. The 67-year-old billionaire co-chairman of Bain Capital has a solid offer to buy the Blues.
Chicago Cubs owners, the Ricketts family, former Liverpool chairman Sir Martin Broughton and LA Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly are the other bidders still in the running.
The Raine Group spent Thursday informing a host of unsuccessful bidders that they were out of the auction before beginning the shortlist confirmation process in the race to buy the Blues.
Celtics supremo Pagliuca and Cubs owners the Ricketts were reportedly told by Raine early Friday afternoon New York time.
American tycoon Boehly and his company Eldridge Industries have the backing of Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss and respected British business leader Jonathan Goldstein.
Former British Airways chairman Broughton has recruited sporting and political heavyweight Lord Sebastian Coe, adding real weight to his consortium. Wall Street investment banker Michael Klein added a major financial benefit.
The Ricketts family, owners of the Cubs, boast of the financial might of US hedge fund chief Ken Griffin, believing their experience renovating legendary Wrigley Field provides an advantage in their bid given the required rebuilding of Stamford Bridge .
The Ricketts family have yet to allay the concerns of supporters, but are working hard to prove they are fit to take the helm at Stamford Bridge.
Roman Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale on March 2, amid Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian-Israeli billionaire was subsequently sanctioned by the government on March 10.
Chelsea must operate under a strict government license, with Abramovich unable to profit from the sale of the club.
Downing Street must approve another new license to authorize the possible sale of Chelsea, with the money either frozen or distributed to charitable funds to help victims of the war in Ukraine.
Abramovich has pledged to write off Chelsea’s £1.5billion debt and the bidding frenzy for the club could see the eventual deal reach £3billion.