The Saudi Media Group consortium is out of the race to buy Chelsea.
The Saudi bidders have been told their bid was unsuccessful at the prequalification stage, according to the PA news agency.
New York’s investment bank, the Raine Group, has begun the process of briefing potential Chelsea buyers on the status of their offers.
And the Saudi offer is the first to have been considered insufficient.
Chelsea fan Mohamed Al Khereiji has submitted the bid for the Saudi consortium, but concerns over possible delays with the Premier League and the British government will have factored into Raine’s decision.
Saudi Media insisted its bid was completely separate from the Saudi state, but long-running issues around the Saudi takeover of Newcastle will have played a role in Raine’s consideration of the bid. purchase of Chelsea.
The government and the Premier League will monitor the sale of Chelsea, in light of Downing Street sanctions imposed by owner Roman Abramovich.
Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale on March 2, amid Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian-Israeli billionaire was then sanctioned by the British government on March 10, with Downing Street claiming to have proven his links to Vladimir Putin.
The Blues have to operate under a strict government license with Abramovich unable to profit from the sale of Chelsea.
Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly is among Chelsea’s favorites, with Chicago Cubs owners, the Ricketts family, also in line to be on Raine’s favorite shortlist of bidders.
Martin Broughton and Sebastian Coe have another bid tabled, with solid funding secured and the two front men proud of the bid.
British property mogul Nick Candy pushed hard with his bid for the Blues while London-based global investment firm Centricus also submitted a well-funded bid, led by four long-time Chelsea fans.