Billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe has made a dramatic late offer of £4.25 billion to buy Chelsea.

The sudden intervention by the man who is, according to a Forbes study from last year, Britain’s richest, comes more than two weeks after the deadline for final offers set by New York-based merchant bank Raine Group, appointed by outgoing owner Roman Abramovich to handle the sale.

Ratcliffe owns petrochemicals giant Ineos, which released a statement on Friday afternoon confirming their bid, the amount of which exceeds the three remaining consortium who were in the running and held talks at Stamford Bridge with senior figures at Chelsea earlier this week.

“Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Chairman of INEOS, has made a formal bid for Chelsea FC, for £4.25bn,” the statement read. “£2.5bn is committed to the Charitable Trust to support victims of the war, with £1.75bn committed to investment directly into the club over the next 10 years.

“This is a British bid for a British club. We believe that a club is bigger than its owners who are temporary custodians of a great tradition, with responsibility to the fans and the community.”

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