Furious Chelsea fans say Chicago Cubs owner Joe Ricketts should NOT be allowed to buy the club after denouncing Islam as a ‘cult’ and saying ‘Muslims are naturally my enemy’ in leaked emails
- Chelsea fans reacted with shock after Joe Ricketts launched bid for the club
- Chicago Cubs chief came under fire for saying ‘muslims are my enemy’ in 2019
- In a series of leaked emails from 2012, he also described Islam as ‘a cult’
- Some supporters claimed they would ‘cut ties’ with the Blues if he bought them
Chelsea fans have reacted with shock after reports that Chicago Cubs owner Joe Ricketts is preparing a ‘blockbuster’ offer for the club after he came under fire for saying ‘muslims are my enemy’ in 2012.
The Blues are continuing their scramble for new ownership as Roman Abramovich looks to secure the club’s future after being sanctioned by the UK Government amid his ties to Russia president Vladimir Putin, and Chelsea have been inundated with interest from consortiums around the world.
The latest names to be linked with purchasing Chelsea are American tycoon Ken Griffin and Ricketts, who are understood to be readying a huge bid – with Griffin alone having a fortune worth around £20billion ($26.5bn).
But Chelsea supporters have been left concerned about Ricketts’ involvement after his leaked emails from 2012 resurfaced where the 80-year-old made a number of controversial comments about race – saying ‘Muslims are my enemy’, describing Islam as a ‘cult’ and laughing at racist jokes.
One stunned Chelsea fan claimed he would ‘severe ties’ with the club if Ricketts were to take charge after his comments came to light.
‘The Ricketts family must not be allowed anywhere near @ChelseaFC,’ wrote another supporter, while one raised concerns that muslim footballers Hakim Ziyech, NGolo Kante and Antonio Rudiger would soon leave if Ricketts took charge.
‘If the Ricketts family takeover you can say goodbye to Rudiger, Kante and Ziyech from the very start.’
Chelsea fans have been left shocked after news Chicago Cubs owner Joe Ricketts is preparing an offer for the club, years after he said ‘muslims are my enemy’ in a series of leaked emails
Ricketts came under fire for his comments, which saw him describe Islam as ‘a cult’
Chelsea fans have been left sweating on the club’s future with the Blues unable to sell tickets, buy players or agree new contracts during the sanctions
‘I do not want to Ricketts Family to own Chelsea Football Club at all after seeing those comments,’ another post read.
The Ricketts family were also described as ‘racist bigots’ by a Chelsea fan on social media, adding: ‘They shouldn’t even be considered for Chelsea ownership.’
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT KEN GRIFFIN AND THE RICKETTS?
Griffin is the founder and chief executive of Citadel, an American multinational hedge fund and financial services company.
Forbes recently estimated the 53-year-old’s wealth at £20billion ($26.5bn), which makes him the 45th richest man in America.
Consequently, he is also believed to be the richest individual in the public domain interested in buying Chelsea.
The Ricketts’ family fortune meanwhile came from founding an online brokerage company called TD Ameritrade, which is now called The Charles Schwab Corporation.
The family – including Chicago Cubs chairman Tom and his three siblings Peter, Laura, and Todd – have since gone on to share ownership of the Cubs with their parents since 2009 through their family trust.
They oversaw the Cubs’ third World Series title in 2016 and ensured they revamped the club’s home stadium.
The emails – dating back to 2012 and seen by Splinter – show Ricketts saying Muslims are ‘his enemy’ because of ‘their deep antagonism’.
‘Christians and Jews can have a mutual respect for each other to create a civil society. As you know, Islam cannot do that. Therefore we cannot ever let Islam become a large part of our society,’ Ricketts says in the email.
‘Muslims are naturally my (our) enemy due to their deep antagonism and bias against non-Muslims.’
In other emails from around 2012, Ricketts shares several links to conspiracy theories which claim President Obama has a secret past as a gay sex worker and drug mule, and is actually a Muslim.
‘My impression is that the President [Obama] is more sympatric to Muslims than Christians/Jews,’ Ricketts says.
‘We are a Christian country and I feel like this is just a continuation of the assault on Christianity in America. My feeling (sic) are that I don’t like it.’
He also says in one conversation with his son Pete Ricketts, the current governor of Nebraska, he believes Islam ‘is a cult and not a religion’ and that it is ‘based on “kill the infidel” a thing of evil.’
Since making the comments, Ricketts has apologised for his words and insisted they ‘didn’t reflect his value system’.
‘I deeply regret and apologize for some of the exchanges I had in my emails. Sometimes I received emails that I should have condemned,’ he said in a statement.
‘Other times I’ve said things that don’t reflect my value system. I strongly believe that bigoted ideas are wrong.’
The Ricketts family are set to join forces with American tycoon Ken Griffin to launch a ‘blockbuster’ bid to buy Chelsea
Bidders are looking to buy the club off Roman Abramovich (above) after he was sanctioned
Ricketts is the patriarch of the Ricketts family that purchased a 95 per cent stake in the Cubs in 2009. Born and raised in Nebraska, Ricketts made his fortune as the co-founder of brokerage firm TD Ameritrade.
Beyond their Cubs ownership, the Ricketts family is also well known for their influence in the world of conservative politics.
On Wednesday the Ricketts family confirmed news that they would be pursuing their interest in buying Chelsea before Friday’s deadline, stressing they understood the need for investment in the playing squad, respecting the club’s traditions and its supporters.
A spokesman for the consortium told Sky: ‘The Ricketts Family, owners of the Chicago Cubs, can confirm they will be leading an investment group that will make a formal bid for Chelsea Football Club this Friday.
‘As long-time operators of an iconic professional sports team, the Ricketts Family and their partners understand the importance of investing for success on the pitch, while respecting the traditions of the club, the fans and the community.
There are a number of interested parties in Chelsea as Abramovich holds out for around £2bn
‘We look forward to sharing further details of our plans in due course.’
Ricketts and Griffin are not the only interested parties in Chelsea – there are a number of offers being prepared, including rivals bids from the United States.
New York Jets owner Woody Johnson has reportedly launched a £2bn bid to buy the club, and according to the Sun the former Donald Trump ally hopes to put his offer in place before Friday’s deadline.
There are also offers from the Saudi Media Group, who have lodged a bid of £2.7bn, though English businessman Nick Candy – a lifelong Chelsea fan – is also ramping up his interest in taking over from Abramovich.
Meanwhile, a Swiss-American consortium and a group led by British businessman Sir Martin Broughton are among the other top contenders to win the race for the club.
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