Twenty-three-time grand slam champion Serena Williams and seven-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton have joined Martin Broughton’s bid to buy Premier League club Chelsea, a source close to the bid told CNN Sport on Thursday.
The source was speaking on the condition of anonymity, and while they would not confirm how much either was investing as part of the consortium, they stated that both were investing as sport business investors.
Broughton’s consortium includes World Athletics President Sebastian Coe as well as Josh Harris and David Blitzer, who own sport teams including the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Philadelphia 76ers, the source added.
A second source also confirmed Coe’s involvement with Broughton’s bid. Broughton is the former Liverpool chairman.Freud Communications — Hamilton’s communications consultancy — confirmed the Formula One driver’s involvement in Broughton’s bid to CNN.
Serena Williams’ representatives were not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNN.
Williams is already part of a majority woman-founded group who owns Angel City FC in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).
“It’s a move away from what they’re investing in traditionally, [by] investing in a club’s franchise, especially a club the size of Chelsea. [Sportspeople are] typically seen as investing in consumer brands, early stage businesses that clearly have relevance to their sporting career, but also kind of that move into the wider business world,” Ben Peppi, sports commercial expert at JMW Solicitors, told CNN Sport.
“This, to me, looks more like a traditional investment play. Clearly, it’s a financial return. It’s not going to be acting as brand ambassadors for Chelsea Football Club in a traditional way that they might with other consumer brands,” he added.
“With Lewis Hamilton there’s a lot of talk around the fact that he’s in there because he’s going to promote values close to him with regards to kind of race, inclusion, and diversity,” Peppi pointed out.
Broughton’s bid is one of three left in the race to purchase the club from current Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.
In March, Abramovich announced he planned to sell the club in the best interests of “the fans, the employees, as well as the Club’s sponsors and partners.”
This came after he declared he gave “stewardship” of Chelsea to trustees of the club’s charitable foundation.
Afterward, the European Union placed Abramovich on its list of sanctioned individuals, while the UK government sanctioned him as part of its efforts to “isolate” Russian President Vladimir Putin following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Abramovich has always denied being linked to Putin and rejected claims that any of his activities merited government sanctions.
Tennis legend Serena Williams and Formula One star Lewis Hamilton may soon be part owners of one of the world’s most popular soccer clubs. The pair is joining British businessman Martin Broughton’s consortium bid to buy Chelsea, according to Sky Sports. Broughton, who is the former Liverpool chairman, also has a consortium that includes Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils owner Josh Harris and World Athletics president Sebastian Coe.
Williams and Hamilton have pledged an estimated £10 million ($13.06 million) each in the bid. Williams is no stranger to investing in a soccer club as she is already an investor in Los Angeles’ Angel City FC, which is slated to debut in the National Women’s Soccer League later this April.
Broughton also has a stake in Crystal Palace, but is prepared to sell his stake if his consortium group wins the bidding war for Chelsea. His group also includes Canada’s Rogers family, who owns the Blue Jays and Rogers Communications, as well as John Arnold, who chaired Houston’s efforts for the 2026 FIFA World Cup bid committee. In addition, Taiwan’s Tsai family is involved. They own the Taipei Fubon Braves basketball team, which plays in the ASEAN Basketball League, as well as the Fubon Guardians baseball team in China.
Chelsea were officially put up for sale in March after owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the British government following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The government has allowed Chelsea to continue to operate in a limited capacity until a sale is completed and the American financial institution the Raine Group has been brought in to oversee the sale of the club. Final bids for Chelsea were submitted earlier in April, and the field has been narrowed to three potential groups.
Some other prominent names in American sports have been connected to the bidding war. At one point, there was a consortium headed by the Ricketts family, who own the Chicago Cubs, to purchase the club, but they have since pulled out. Meanwhile, Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly and Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca are also in the running to purchase the Premier League club.
Erik ten Hag’s appointment signals the start of a new era at Manchester United. It means much more than just an ordinary new manager hire. The Dutch coach faces the tall task of trying to bring the club back to the prominent level it once was under Sir Alex Ferguson.
During the conversations between the board of the club and ten Hag — which in February reached its most pivotal phase — the feeling was immediately described as “excellent” because the Dutch manager was particularly clear: Rebuilding a club the stature of Manchester United requires time, with strong choices and important decisions ahead.
Fabrizio Romano lists ten Hag’s top three priorities at Man United. Craving even more coverage of the world’s game? Listen below and follow ¡Qué Golazo! A Daily CBS Soccer Podcast where we take you beyond the pitch and around the globe for commentary, previews, recaps and more.