Tom Ricketts’ Chelsea FC bid dies as Cubs are valued at $4.3 billion

(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /
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If you’re reading this and have found yourself in the camp that’s been absolutely livid over the idea of Cubs owner Tom Ricketts pursuing ownership of Premier League’s Chelsea FC, I have good news for you – the group Ricketts headed has withdrawn its bid and is officially out of the running to become the club’s new owners.

"“The Ricketts-Griffin-Gilbert Group has decided, after careful consideration, not to submit a final bid for Chelsea F.C. In the process of finalizing their proposal, it became increasingly clear that certain issues could not be addressed given the unusual dynamics around the sales process,” the Ricketts family said in a statement."

A sizable number of Cubs fans were understandably upset over the Ricketts’ attempts to purchase Chelsea given the cost-cutting, budget-focused direction the Cubs organization has gone in during recent years. Last summer’s sell-off that capped off years of frugality in free agency left a bitter taste in many mouths – and the thought the family would then turn and invent elsewhere, rather than in the Cubs, didn’t sit well.

Remember – it wasn’t that long ago Ricketts made his ill-fated comment on the team’s ‘biblical losses’ due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequently shortened, fan-less 2020 season. Throw that all in a blender and it’s not hard to see how ownership has somehow burned all its good will with fans that came with bringing a World Series to the North Side.

Although the family denies it had any impact, there was major pushback on their bid from fans who were outraged over anti-Muslim comments made by Tom’s father, Joe, a decade ago. According to the Ricketts family, the group just couldn’t get a deal across the finish line. But it’s hard to imagine the opposition from fans did their efforts any favors.

Meanwhile, a new valuation has the Cubs worth a staggering $4.4 billion

We recently broke down the latest Forbes’ valuations – which pegged the Chicago Cubs at $3.8 billion. That was rough enough, but now, Sportico actually has the franchise worth $4.43 billion – more than every MLB team outside of the Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers.

It’s a tough look for an ownership who’s repeatedly cried poor instead of supplementing a clearly flawed, albeit tremendously talented core in the years that followed the team’s 2016 World Series title. The franchise is worth more than ever (remember, the Ricketts purchased the Cubs for just $900 million – so it’s worth nearly five times what it was back in 2009).

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At least the Chelsea FC bid is dead. Now, let’s hope the rising franchise values will either A) be put back into the on-field product or B) be used to make getting to a ballgame more manageable for the everyday fan. Oh, who am I kidding? The only place that money is going right now is back into the Ricketts’ ledgers.