Ricketts family through to next round of Chelsea takeover bidding despite fan uproar over historic Islamophobic comments

TOM RICKETTS is through to round two of the Chelsea bidding war after meeting fans on his charm offensive to win their backing.

The controversial American was notified last night that his family’s offer has made it onto the shortlist of candidates to buy the £3 billion-rated Premier League side.

And Ricketts is now on his way back to the US following talks with supporters’ groups in London aimed at calming fears over an historic racism storm.

Leaked emails from Ricketts’ father Joe in which he claims Muslims are ‘my natural enemy’ triggered a frosty reaction.

Ricketts said: “My family and I are very grateful to all the fans and supporters’ groups who took time to meet with us this week and share their passion and concerns for Chelsea Football Club. 

“It’s clear you have nothing but the best interests of the club at heart.

“We have listened to all of your feedback – including from the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust – and are grateful that the door is still open for us to demonstrate our commitment to working with fans to protect the club’s heritage.

“It is now up to us to redouble our efforts and clearly lay out a vision for our stewardship of the club with diversity and inclusion at its heart.”

Ricketts joins fellow American tycoon Todd Boehly and Tory Lord Seb Coe in the leading pack to buy Chelsea.

Coe has joined forces with former Liverpool chairman Martin Braughton as part of a wider consortium.

Boehly is teaming up with London property developer Jonathan Goldstein as well as Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss.

Chelsea fan and property developer Nick Candy is an outside bet but is convinced he can still deliver on his promise to give the fans a bigger say in the running of the club.

But he may have to join forces – most likely with fellow Blue Coe – to get over the line.

Candy’s fan-friendly approach has found favour in the upper circles among the decision makers overseeing the sale of Chelsea.

A spokesperson for Candy told SunSport: We continue to evaluate and participate in meaningful conversations with the bidding process. 

Nick has always made it clear that the fans and safeguarding the future of the club are his only interests in this process.”

Chelsea has been put up for sale after owner Roman Abramovich was hit by sanctions from the UK Government.

He is one of dozens of Russian oligarchs being targeted over alleged links to his country’s tyrant leader Vladimir Putin.

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