Ratcliffe’s Chelsea bid "rejected" but INEOS director insists they are not done

An INEOS director has insisted that Sir Jim Ratcliffe could still buy Chelsea even though his bid of more than £4billion has already been rejected.

Chelsea are still yet to find a new owner as a host of consortiums remain in the running to takeover the club, but Ratcliffe submitted a late offer on Friday. His offer was reportedly dismissed, and Chelsea are still no closer to finding a new owner to replace Roman Abramovich.

The Times reported that the bid from Britain's richest man was actually the lowest of the current proposals on the table for the Blues, and the Raine Group who are overseeing the sale have been tasked with deciding upon the successful bidders. But a director has insisted that Ratcliffe isn't out of the running just yet.

Chemicals producer INEOS is owned by Ratcliffe, and Tom Crotty – who is a director at the company – has insisted that they are still in the running to take over Chelsea. "We’ve been rejected out of hand by Raine, but we will keep reminding people we are still here," Crotty told Bloomberg.

Raine are still said to be pondering offers from a consortium led by LA Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly, a group backed by former British Airways chairman Sir Martin Broughton and an offer led by Stephen Pagliuca, the co-owner of the Boston Celtics. Reports on Saturday suggested that Boehly was the preferred bidder, but nothing has been made official just yet.

But Ratcliffe and his group are trying their best to get the fans on side. And they have already held early-stage discussions with the influential Chelsea Supporters’ Trust about their proposal.

"We will continue to engage with the fanbase," said Crotty. "We see ourselves as a fan-based bid." However, according to Bloomberg who contacted Raine to push for an update on the situation, a representative declined to comment.

Chelsea are still operating under a special licence after Abramovich was sanctioned due to his alleged involvement with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. And as a result, they are unable to sell home tickets, and cannot sign, or re-sign players.

A swift change of ownership had been targeted to get Chelsea back trading again, but negotiations have gone on longer than expected. The hesitance has given Ratcliffe a fighting chance though, according to Crotty.

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