Sir Lewis Hamilton and Serena Williams have joined Sir Martin Broughton’s bid to buy Chelsea from Roman Abramovich, Sky News has reported.
According to the British media outlet, Hamilton, a seven-time Formula One champion, and Williams, a 23-time grand slam champion, pledged $13 million each to the bid.
Sky further reports that the involvement of the Black athletes was unexpected, particularly Hamilton, because he is an Arsenal fan. It is thought that they have been in talks with the group spearheaded by Broughton (the former Liverpool and British Airways chairman) for several weeks.
Chelsea has been up for sale ever since owner Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK government following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Russian businessman’s close links to Russian President Vladimir Putin have come under scrutiny, Metro reports, adding that Abramovich’s UK assets have been frozen, putting Chelsea in a financially perilous condition.
Tennis star Williams has made a name for herself as one of the leading Black investors in the world. The tennis great, through her Serena Ventures, has invested in 34 startups over the past five years with 60% of the investments focused on companies founded by women and minorities.
Acquiring a stake in a sporting team is not the first for Williams. She owns stakes in the Miami Dolphins and UFC. Until recently, Williams was the highest-paid female athlete in the world. Her net worth is estimated to be $36 million. Besides investing in cryptocurrencies, she also has a clothing line and accessories.
Hamilton, on the other hand, has dominated Formula One since 2014, losing only the 2016 season championship to his teammate at the time, Nico Rosberg.
Ranked 13th on Forbes world’s highest-paid athletes in 2020 with an annual salary of $42 million, Celebrity Net Worth puts his net worth at $285 million.
Hamilton’s investment has largely been in luxurious real estate. In 2017, he bought a New York penthouse for $43.9 million. He, however, listed the property for $57 million. He also owns a four-story mansion with six bedrooms in Kensington, West London that was built in 1860 and is worth $25 million.