Mohamed Alkhereiji is a billionaire Saudi Chelsea fan who is making a bid to buy a club that wants to revamp the stadium and keep Rudiger
IN just over a day, Chelsea went from financially crippled to potentially rescued – thanks to Mohamed Alkhereiji.
Roman Abramovich put the Blues up for sale earlier this month but was soon sanctioned over his links to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Initially, the oligarch was prohibited from selling the club.
But after Abramovich agreed to forfeit any proceeds from the sale of Chelsea, the government allowed him to press ahead with his bid to leave the west London club.
And already a bid has been tabled, with the private consortium Saudi Media Group – led by Alkhereiji – submitting a £2.7bn offer.
Abramovich had hoped for £3 billion, but could accept the offer in the interest of a quick sale.
Rivaling British billionaire Nick Candy and a number of other parties including Hansjorg Wyss and Todd Boehly, Alkhereiji is just the latest to take an interest in running the Stamford Bridge show.
We take a look at everything you need to know about Chelsea’s potential new owner.
Who is Mohamed Alkhereiji?
Alkhereiji is a Saudi businessman… and Chelsea fan. He heads the Saudi Media Group – the party behind the £2.7billion bid – and is the CEO of parent company Engineer Holding Group, founded by his father, Abdulelah Alkhereiji.
Alkhereiji does have ties to the UK, however, having studied at Cass Business School in London and also spending three years working at Deutsche Bank.
CHELTENHAM PARIS FREE ENTRIES AND ENTRY OFFERS – ALL THE LATEST OFFERS FOR THE RACE THIS WEEK
So why Chelsea?
A Blues fan, the mega-rich businessman has been spotted at Stamford Bridge before, most recently for the 1-1 draw with Manchester United in November.
Incidentally, it was also the last time Abramovich graced Stamford Bridge with his presence.
Alkhereiji was also in west London for the 3-1 win over Arsenal in 2017 – famous for Eden Hazard’s sensational solo goal.
He and his children are all Chelsea fans – so Alkhereiji has a personal interest in buying the club, as well as a financial interest.
In fact, yes.
In addition to Chelsea, Alkhereiji supports Saudi giants Al Nassr and has even built them a brand new state-of-the-art stadium – Mrsool Park.
The Saudi Media Group also has links with Al Hilal – who lost 1-0 to the Blues in the Club World Cup semi-finals earlier this year.
So, can Alkhereiji afford Chelsea?
Abramovich has put a £3billion price tag on the club – despite buying them for just £140million in 2003.
However, with the Russian eager to make a quick sale and refusing to pocket the proceeds, he is likely to accept lower offers.
The Alkhereiji-backed Saudi Media Group has reportedly offered £2.7bn – which may well be enough.
The business makes a staggering turnover of £770million a year – more than enough to pay the club.
However, the Saudi Media Group will likely be backed by other private parties in the Middle Eastern nation as part of a larger consortium.
Simply put, they can afford Chelsea.
Could the auction be blocked?
It is very unlikely that the consortium will have any problems.
Newcastle was recently purchased by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, causing controversy due to the country’s human rights record.
However, the consortium that bought the Toon in a £300m takeover was backed by the Saudi government.
The Saudi Media Group headed by Alkhereiji is a private entity, not backed by the Saudi government – or any other – government.
Therefore, they shouldn’t face any problems on this front.
So, if Alkhereiji succeeds, what is his vision?
Well, a perfect blend of sentimentality and revolution.
For starters, Alkhereiji wants to renew the contract of club legend Cesar Azpilicueta – who is reportedly set to move to Barcelona.
He also wants to tie Antonio Rudiger to a new deal – with both defenders out of contract this summer.
However, Alkhereiji also has his eye on the future – aiming for a staggering £1.5bn overhaul of Stamford Bridge after years of false dawns.
The group also wants to pump more money into Chelsea’s youth system to continue the club’s legacy or find and nurture top young talent, while also investing heavily in the women’s team.
Elsewhere, the Saudi Media Group wants to secure bigger and better business partnerships for the club – with the Blues having recently lost Three and Hyundai after Abramovich was sanctioned.
They plan to use their already extensive connections to make mega-money deals.
The consortium is also aiming to expand the Blues’ fan base, diving into the ‘untapped market’ of Saudi Arabia.