Two of the world's biggest sports stars are committing millions of pounds to one of the bids vying to takeover Chelsea Football Club, according to reports.
Sky News has reported that seven-time Formula 1 world champion Sir Lewis Hamilton, as well as tennis icon Serena Williams, have pledged an estimated £10 million each into an offer for the club from a wealthy consortium group led by Sir Martin Broughton.
Broughton is a former chairman of Liverpool and British Airways. Hamilton, who is competing in this weekend's Melbourne Grand Prix, and 23-time major winner Williams have both become established investors in recent years. The two sporting icons are believed to be worth nearly a combined $500 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Despite Sir Lewis being a well-known Arsenal fan, the F1 legend and Williams have been in talks with the group spearheaded by Broughton for several weeks.
A close source to the group believes the two sporting superstars were added to the consortia to buy Chelsea due to their impressive history and experience of building global sports brands. As of Thursday morning, it is unclear what role the pair will undertake if the bid is ultimately successful.
Broughton's group is believed to be heavily funded by Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, headed by billionaires Josh Harris and Dave Blitzer. The pair would hold a controlling stake in Chelsea.
Hamilton and Williams have always been huge advocates for diversity in sports and wider society, and one insider claims the pair have been persuaded to join the bid due to their diverse roster of global investors. Final bids are expected to value the club at £2.5 billion.
Chelsea desperate for takeover to happen soon
It has been a season like no other at Stamford Bridge, following owner Roman Abramovich's sanctioning by the British government and disqualification by the Premier League to own a football club.
The Russian has owned the west London club since 2003, during which time he oversaw unprecedented success, including five Premier League titles and two Champions League victories.
Current manager Thomas Tuchel has done a remarkable job keeping his side focused on matters on the pitch, as his team look set to finish a respectable third in the league. They also have an FA Cup final against Liverpool to look forward to in May.
However, the ownership issue needs to be sorted out quickly. There were plenty of empty seats present at the Blues' 4-2 defeat to Arsenal at Stamford Bridge due to government sanctions not allowing the club to sell anymore tickets while Abramovich is still technically the owner.
Where does Haaland rank in Paul Merson's 5 best Premier League transfers so far? Click here