George Osborne, the former chancellor, was parachuted in to help the Todd Boley-Clearlake consortium complete the takeover of Chelsea.
Sky News can exclusively announce that Robey Warshaw, the city’s consulting firm that Osborne joined last year, has signed on as an advisor to the consortium led by Mr. Boli.
The former Conservative minister, who left frontline politics in 2016 to amass a portfolio of private sector jobs including the Evening Standard, is a lifelong Blues fan and season ticket holder, and was pictured holding a Champions League trophy after Chelsea beat Bayern. Munich in the penalty shootout in the 2012 final.
Osborne is also a close friend of Lord Finkelstein, a Times columnist who has agreed to join the Chelsea board if Mr Boli’s bid is successful.
Roby Warshaw is currently working alongside Goldman Sachs as a proposal advisor, including Mr. Boly, Clearlake Capital, Hansjorg Wyss and others.
The government sanction of Roman Abramovich and his suspension by the Premier League as manager of the club he has owned since 2003 have left the fate of the Stamford Bridge team in the hands of ministers.
The preferred bidder is expected to be determined by Raine Group, the investment bank involved in the sale, in the coming weeks, when it will be recommended to the government for a special license approving the sale.
Chelsea fans fell from four to three on Friday as a consortium that included the Ricketts family, Chicago Cubs owners, Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin pulled out.
The consortium released a brief statement saying it did not submit a final proposal due to “certain issues”. [that] could not be resolved given the unusual dynamics of the sales process.”
A source familiar with the Ricketts-led bid said Mr. Griffin decided not to make a mandatory bid.
The group’s decision leaves Boeli’s bid to compete with that of Sir Martin Broughton, former chairman of British Airways and Liverpool, and which includes funding from Crystal Palace shareholders and private equity billionaires Josh Harris and David Blitzer; and a rival bid led by Steve Palucca, co-owner of the Boston Celtics, and Larry Tanenbaum, president of the NBA, which owns elite sports teams spanning football, basketball, and hockey.
The True Blues Consortium, a group of Chelsea supporters co-founded by former Blues captain John Terry, supported Palucca’s candidacy.
More than 10,000 Chelsea fans have expressed interest in owning more than £150m worth of shares in a deal that will see Mr Abramovich take over as owner of the club.
Sky News reported earlier this week that Boehly’s bid is actually dominated by Clearlake Capital, a San Francisco-based investment firm that will own at least 50% of Chelsea if its bid is successful.
Pain and his co-investors Mark Walter and Mr Wyss will hold minority stakes, although they will share operating control of the club.
Jonathan Goldstein, a London-based property developer who works closely with Boehly, was also involved in the proposal.
The final bids, which were to value Chelsea at more than £2.5bn, breaking the record for most sports club takeovers, were unveiled on Thursday.
Sources close to the remaining bidders say Rein told them he could wait for the Premier League to clear all consortiums before presenting a preferred bidder to ministers.
Roby Warshaw declined to comment on Saturday and the Boehly consortium was contacted for comment.