LONDON (AFP) - The Saudi Media Group bid to buy Chelsea has failed to make the final shortlist, according to British media reports on Thursday (March 24).
The Saudi consortium were one of a host of bidders attempting to buy the troubled Premier League club from Russia owner Roman Abramovich.
The Raine Group, handling the sale after Abramovich's assets were frozen by the British Government following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, has started informing prospective buyers of the status on their offers.
The Saudis, whose consortium was fronted by Blues fan Mohamed Al Khereiji, are reportedly the first to be told their bid for the Chelsea has been rejected.
Saudi Media insisted its offer was completely separate from the Saudi Arabian state, a move provoked by criticism of the country's human rights record.
Newcastle's Saudi-led takeover last year was widely criticised because of concerns over human rights.
Both the Government and the Premier League will have oversight of Chelsea's sale, in light of Abramovich's sanctions.
Chelsea must operate under strict Government licence until a new buyer is found, with Abramovich unable to profit from Chelsea's sale.
Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly is among the front-runners for Chelsea, with Chicago Cubs owners the Ricketts family also in line to make Raine's shortlist of preferred bidders.
Martin Broughton and Lord Sebastian Coe have another potent offering lodged, with strong financing secured and both front men say they are proud of the submission.
British property tycoon Nick Candy has pushed hard with his offer for the Blues, while London-based global investment firm Centricus has also submitted a bid.