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Tom Ricketts’ controversial Chelsea takeover bid backed by leading US Muslim despite outrage over ‘natural enemy’ email


TOM RICKETTS’ controversial bid to buy Chelsea has surprise backing — from a leading US Muslim.

The Chicago Cubs baseball outfit’s owner has lodged a formal offer for Roman Abramovich’s Blues.

Tom Ricketts’ Christian dad Joe claimed Muslims are ‘my natural enemy’[/caption]
The Council on American-Islamic Relations in Chicago has come out in support of the Ricketts camp[/caption]
Chelsea were put up for sale shortly before Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK government[/caption]

 But political fallout from his father’s views on race are dogging the campaign.

Ricketts’ Christian dad Joe claimed Muslims are ‘my natural enemy’ in emails which surfaced in 2019 and now some Chelsea fans do not want the family gaining control of their club.

But in a shock move, the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Chicago has come out in support of the Ricketts camp.

The group’s executive director Ahmed Rehab said: “Today, as the Ricketts family makes a bid for Chelsea Football Club, I have seen some efforts to use this unfortunate incident against them and their bid.

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“And so, as one of the primary actors in that episode, I must step in to say in good conscience that I believe the Ricketts family and our community have moved well beyond that moment and are in a very positive place.

“And this is in no small part thanks to the leadership of Tom Ricketts and Julian Green of the Cubs.

“In fact, I believe they’ve displayed an exemplary precedent in how to apologise for a mistake and make amends, again despite this being an individual mistake not related to Tom or the Cubs.

“Today, I throw my support behind the Ricketts family’s bid for Chelsea, both as a Muslim leader who has seen the goodness of their character and community work, and as a die-hard football fan who grew up in England and who to this day  does not miss a Premier League game.”


Ricketts is just one of a number of serious bidders now waiting to hear from handling bank Raine whether they have made it on to the shortlist of interested parties.

They insist much work has gone into building bridges with the Islamic community in America’s Midwest since the unsavoury episode.

Premier League giants Chelsea have been put up for sale after owner   Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK Government over alleged links to Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

American tycoon Todd Boehly, Chelsea fan Nick Candy, former Tory MP Seb Coe, finance firms Aethel and Centricus, plus even ex-Blues skipper John Terry are vying to buy the £3billion-rated team.

Would-be buyers have been waiting all week to find out if they have made it through to the second round.

Ricketts insists his dad has nothing to do with his proposal and the family issued a statement yesterday to try to quell growing mistrust in them.

The statement read: “Our family rejects any form of hate in the strongest possible terms. Racism and Islamophobia have no place whatsoever in our society.

“We have developed deep and abiding partnerships with the Muslim community in Chicago — as well as with all communities of colour.

“Respect for diversity and inclusion are central to our family’s values.

“If we prevail in our bid for Chelsea, we commit to the club and to the fans that we will actively promote these values.”

 Ricketts has also vowed to make redeveloping Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge ground —  not moving away from their spiritual home — a priority, if he does become the new owner of the club.



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