Lewis Hamilton is part of a bid to buy the Chelsea English Premier League soccer team, putting in tens of millions of dollars.
The seven-time world champion has joined forces with tennis star Serena Williams in backing Sir Martin Broughton’s bid, according to Sky News. Broughton is a former Liverpool and British Airways chairman, and one of three bidders that have tabled offers in the region of £2.5 billion ($3.26b) for the English soccer club that is being sold by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.
Hamilton’s investment was confirmed on Thursday as part of a wide global group of backers, that also include Philadelphia 76ers co-owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer, who are also involved with the New Jersey Devils and Pittsburgh Steelers. The Broughton bid also has expertise from World Athletics president Lord Coe.
There is significant U.S. interest in Chelsea, with L.A. Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly leading another bid, and the third consortium headed up by Boston Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca. Chicago Cubs owners the Ricketts family pulled out of the running last week, ahead of a preferred bidder being identified in the coming weeks.
The news drew a cheeky response from Max Verstappen, who was surprised by Hamilton’s interest in a rival team to the one he supports.
“I am a PSV fan and I would never buy Ajax,” Verstappen told the Press Association. “And if I was going to buy a football club I would want to be the full owner and to take the decisions myself, not own just a tiny percentage.
“I thought he was an Arsenal fan? And if you are an Arsenal fan going for Chelsea, that it is quite interesting. But everyone does what they want with their money so let’s see what comes out of it.”