Lewis Hamilton and Serena Williams are reportedly joining forces in a bid to buy the most beloved asset of a sanctioned Russian oligarch.
Serena Williams and Lewis Hamilton have joined a bid to buy English Premier League club Chelsea after it was put up for sale by sanctioned Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.
The tennis and Formula One champions each pledged $AUD18 million to back a consortium aiming to buy the football giants, Sky Sports reports.
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Hamilton’s representatives later confirmed the 37-year-old racing legend was involved, but denied the figure being reported, without disclosing the actual amount.
Hamilton’s involvement was especially unexpected, given he is a lifelong supporter of one of Chelsea’s main London rivals, Arsenal.
Williams is already an investor in Los Angeles’ Angel City FC, which plays in America’s National Women’s Soccer League.
The consortium they’re backing is being led by former Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton and includes World Athletics President Sebastian Coe and wealthy investors from around the world, who the group says all want to maintain Chelsea’s top status.
Private equity veterans Josh Harris and David Blitzer, who own sport teams including the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, are also backing Broughton’s bid.
Abramovich, who has been sanctioned by the UK government and EU because of his links to Russian president Vladimir Putin, was forced to put the London club up for sale following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Because his assets have been frozen in the UK, the billionaire cannot benefit financially from the club’s sale.
Others on the shortlist to buy the English premiership club are LA Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly and Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca.
A consortium led by Chicago Cubs owners the Ricketts family pulled out of the running to buy Chelsea.
This story first appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission