LONDON: The preferred bidder status of Todd Biehly’s consortium to buy Chelsea for £4.25bn has significance far beyond West London, according to an analyst.

Conrad Wiacek, head of sport analysis at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, said: “With [this] consortium likely to complete the purchase of Chelsea the attractiveness of Premier League teams as investments is reaching the equivalent of US sports teams—even without the closed league structure.

“While the NFL’s Denver Broncos are likely to be sold for close to $5 billion, the value of Chelsea FC has grown exponentially since Roman Abramovich initially bought the club in 2003 for a reported £140m.

“While this value growth is partly due to on-field success, most should be directly attributed to the growth in the media rights of the English Premier League.

“With the league generating close to $10 billion annually (equivalent to the NFL, which signed a 10-year, $100bn agreement in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic), teams can expect to be traded for similar amounts.

“While smaller clubs will have to deal with the threat of relegation, clubs such as Chelsea will continue to be an attractive proposition for investors due to their continued presence at the top end of the table and Champions League qualification.

“While the new owners will have a job to do to bring on new sponsors for next season—particularly considering the termination of mobile operator 3’s $50 million annual front-of-shirt deal—there is an opportunity to capitalize on the Premier League’s global footprint, especially with a potential cryptocurrency partner.”