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Chelsea sale: Nick Candy wants to buy football club from Roman Abramovich | Holly Valance, Russia sanctions

Australian soap star Holly Valance will have the best seat in the house if her billionaire husband is successful in buying football giant Chelsea.

British billionaire Nick Candy is still keen on buying Chelsea from Roman Abramovich despite the Russian oligarch being hit by sanctions.

The Sun reports Candy, 47, is one of several interested parties that has expressed a desire to purchase the Blues after Abramovich announced he was selling the club, hopeful of offloading it for $5.3 billion.

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It was reported the avid Blues fan and property developer — who is married to Australian actress and former Neighbours star Holly Valance — is talking to a number of American investors about forming a consortium to buy the English Premier League team.

Candy’s $4.5 billion proposal is said to include a $2.7 billion plan for a rebuild of home stadium Stamford Bridge.

However, any potential sale has been plunged into chaos after the British government hit Abramovich with a raft of sanctions because of his ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin — one being that he can’t sell the Blues for any profit.

But Candy is undeterred by Abramovich and Chelsea’s woes and plans to push full steam ahead with his vision of acquiring the Blues.

Speaking to the Daily MailCandy said: “We are examining the details of the announcement and we are still interested in making a bid.

“Clearly this is a time of great uncertainty for all Chelsea fans. In our view no one is the owner of a football club – you are the custodian of it for the fans and the community.”

The Blues will be praying Candy’s enthusiasm pays off as the club is on the verge of going bust if Abramovich doesn’t sell up.

How Candy made his money

Candy and his brother Christian were both spurred on to follow a career in property development, when they bought their first home in Earl’s Court, London, with the help of a loan from their grandmother.

They renovated the flat then sold it for a tidy profit 18 months later. At the same time the pair were working day jobs too — Nick worked in advertising, while Christian held a job at investment bank Merrill Lynch.

Eventually, they were able to give those jobs up to move into property development full-time. In 2004 they joined forces with a private company owned by the Prime Minister of Qatar to buy Bowater House in Knightsbridge, turning it into One Hyde Park, which now houses Rolex, McLaren Automotive and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank businesses.

A tower of 86 luxury apartments were also built, with some penthouses sold fetching the highest prices on record.

Candy had his own five-bedroom penthouse in One Hyde Park, which was placed on the market last year for a whopping $310 million.

Last year, he splashed over $17 million on a stunning Grade II‑listed mansion in Oxfordshire. The country pad has seven bedrooms, a pool, stables, tennis and squash courts and its own chapel.

Sanctions hit Chelsea hard

The tough sanctions related to Abramovich mean Chelsea is banned from selling match tickets, barred from buying or selling and players, and is stripped of money made from shirt sales or other merchandise.

The club is also prevented from spending broadcast cash or prize money and will be limited to how much it can spend on games for security, stewarding and catering. Several of Chelsea’s accounts and credit cards have also been temporarily suspended.

British media is reporting Chelsea had been in discussions with the UK government in the hope of amending its license to operate and easing the restrictions, but were hit hard when banks suspended the club’s accounts.

Abramovich, 55, was one of a further seven more oligarchs hit by fresh UK sanctions on Thursday following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. All seven are described as being part of Putin’s inner circle.

Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003, turning the perennial also-rans into serial winners with unlimited transfer funds after he became rich on the chaotic privatisation of state assets in 1990s Russia.

He has denied claims he bought the Blues on Putin’s orders, to expand Russia’s influence abroad in the early 2000s.

Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale on March 2, pledging to write off the club’s $2.7 billion debt and invest all sale proceeds into a new charitable foundation to aid victims of the conflict in Ukraine

With The Sun and AFP

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