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11 June 2018, 01:27 | Charlene Valdez
Danny Lawson PA Wire Sir Jim Ratcliffe reportedly tried to buy Chelsea
Despite problems renewing his United Kingdom visa, Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich refused to sell Chelsea FC to the man described as the richest person in Britain.
Ratcliffe, who owns petrochemicals giant Ineos, put forward his offer to buy the club when he heard that the Russian oligarch could be prepared to sell up due to ongoing visa issues with the Home Office.
Since taking charge at Chelsea 15 years ago, Abramovich has overseen five Premier League title wins and finally got his hands on the coveted Champions League trophy in 2012 following a dramatic penalty shoot-out win over Bayern Munich in Germany.
With doubts over Abramovich's political status, Britain's richest man Jim Ratcliffe has made an approach to take the club of the Russians hands.
Mr Ratcliffe is a Chelsea season ticket holder and already owns a football club in Switzerland.
Some, however, wondered whether Chelsea FC would've been better off under Ratcliffe's patronage.
The delay in renewing his UK tier one investment visa, which has been reported to be linked with worsening UK-Russian relations, led to him applying for Israeli citizenship, which was granted last month.
Last month's Sunday Times rich list valued Ratcliffe's wealth at £21.05bn - more than double Abramovich's £9.3bn valuation.
The Mail quoted an anonymous "friend of Ratcliffe" as saying: "Shelling out £2bn or so would seem like a drop in the ocean for Jim but at the moment he is torn about what to do".
Abramovich coughed out about KSh 18.9 billion in 2003 to buy the Premier League outfit.
The 65-year-old is a Manchester United fan but watches football at Stamford Bridge because it is close to his Chelsea home.
A spokesman for Ineos said they did not respond to market rumour or speculation and Chelsea, who refused to comment publicly on the story to the Mail, did not respond to phone calls from Reuters.
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