Chelsea takeover row as rival bidders fuming Ricketts family bid is getting 'preferential treatment' ahead of deadline

CHELSEA bidders are reportedly in uproar over what they view ss 'preferential treatment' for the Ricketts' family's offer.

The Americans are through to the second round in the race to buy the West Londoners after Roman Abramovich was forced to sell up.

They are up against LA Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly, former British Airways chairman Sir Martin Broughton and Boston Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca.

But according to The Times, insiders involved with the bidders are fuming that the scales appear to be tipped in favour of the Ricketts' family.

It is reported that a meeting was arranged by a Chelsea executive committee of Bruce Buck, Marina Granovskaia and Eugene Tenenbaum for Tom Ricketts to meet with former player Paul Canoville.

The ex-Blue had previously called for the Ricketts bid to be REJECTED after racist comments came to light from Tom's father Joe.

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That meeting took place BEFORE the family were told they had made the final four shortlist and is said to have been "very positive".

An insider told The Times: “Why has Bruce helped Ricketts to organise this meeting. It’s a joke.

"He’s actually helping them to cleanse their reputation when we have all been told we can’t speak to the Chelsea executive until we have the opportunity to meet them next week.

"We see it as a breach of the rules of the process; a failure to follow the instructions.”

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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, however, still faces an uphill battle convincing fans he can run the club to their liking.

US investment bank Raine Group has told the four remaining contenders they have until April 11 to submit revised bids for the club.

Abramovich previously valued the club at £3BILLION – but could accept around £2bn in wake of his investments being sanctioned.

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