Ricketts family reject all hate in ‘strongest possible terms’ amid Chelsea bid

The Ricketts family have rejected any hatred “in the strongest possible terms” amid fan unrest over the Chicago Cubs’ bid to buy Chelsea.

Chelsea fans had the hashtag ‘NoToRicketts’ on Twitter, with supporters raising concerns at the club and online.

Family patriarch Joe Ricketts was accused of Islamophobia in 2019, after a series of emails leaked.

Roman Abramovich (pictured) will end his Chelsea ownership after 19 years at the helm (Adam Davy/PA)

But the Ricketts family have now decided to insist that they accept no form of racism or hatred, in a bid to prove they are fit to take Chelsea back from Roman Abramovich.

Joe Ricketts is not involved in the Ricketts family bid, with the bid led by Chicago Cubs president Tom.

“Our family rejects all forms of hate in the strongest terms possible,” the Ricketts family said.

“Racism and Islamophobia have no place in our society.

“We have developed deep and lasting partnerships with the Muslim community in Chicago, as well as with all communities of color.

“Respect for diversity and inclusion are at the heart of our family values. If we are successful in our bid for Chelsea, we commit to the club and the supporters to actively promote these values.”

Joe Ricketts described Muslims as “my enemy” in an email exchange three years ago.

Ricketts Senior later apologized for the comments, while his son Tom distanced himself from his father’s claims.

“I deeply regret and apologize for some of the exchanges I had in my emails,” Joe Ricketts said.

“Sometimes I received emails that I should have condemned. Other times I said things that didn’t reflect my value system. I firmly believe that bigoted ideas are wrong.

Tom Ricketts insisted at the time, separately: “My father is in no way involved in the operation of the Chicago Cubs”.

The Premier League club’s supporters have raised concerns over the Ricketts’ bid to Chelsea officials, while the Blues’ first black player Paul Canoville has been outspoken on social media.

The anti-racism campaigner tweeted: “I’ve seen and heard enough, I say a big anti-racism no to Ricketts’ candidacy.”

Paul Canoville poses next to a Chelsea sign
Paul Canoville played for Chelsea in the 1980s (Adam Davy/PA)

The Ricketts family hope their statement can allay some fears, but the Chelsea suitors aim to travel to London soon to speak with supporters and further explain their view of the club.

The Ricketts believe their experience of renovating the Cubs’ Wrigley home ground, along with already successful management of a global sports franchise, puts them in a unique position among Chelsea suitors.

Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale on March 2, amid Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine.

The Russian-Israeli billionaire has reportedly already received several big offers for Chelsea a few days after the Blues officially went on sale.

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Sir Martin Broughton is among those aiming to buy Chelsea (Peter Byrne/PA)

And that strong interest has continued unabated, despite the 55-year-old being sanctioned by the British government on March 10.

Downing Street claimed to have proven Abramovich’s direct links to Vladimir Putin, freezing all of his UK assets except Chelsea, with the Blues operating under a strict government licence.

Abramovich cannot profit from the sale of Chelsea, but had already pledged to write off the club’s £1.5billion debt.

LA Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly is among the favorites for Chelsea, with the Ricketts remaining confident in their bid.

Sir Martin Broughton and Lord Sebastian Coe tabled another powerful bid, with strong funding secured and the two front men proud of the bid.

Nick Candy poses for a photo
Nick Candy pushed hard with his offer to buy Chelsea (Ian West/PA)

British property tycoon Nick Candy also pushed hard with his bid for the Blues.

Saudi Media Group is another of the bids expected to carry weight, and Raine is moving quickly through the process as Chelsea need a quick transfer of ownership.

London-based global investment firm Centricus confirmed its offer to buy Chelsea on Monday, with a consortium made up of four Blues supporters.

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