Roman Abramovich rejects approach to sell Chelsea to Britain's richest man

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Britain's richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe has had a bid for Chelsea rejected by fellow billionaire Roman Abramovich, according to reports.

Ratcliffe, who owns petrochemicals giant Ineos, put forward his offer to buy the club when he heard that the Russian oligarch could be prepared to sell up due to ongoing visa issues with the Home Office.

In recent weeks, Abramovich has experienced problems with gaining a working visa for the United Kingdom and has also made a decision to postpone plans to build a new stadium.

Abramovich bought Chelsea for a reported £140 million 18 years ago, and since then he has cleared the club of its debts and has spent hundreds of millions, winning five Premier League titles and the Champions League in the process. Indeed, sources claim Ratcliffe's is among a number of approaches that have been rejected, including from China.

Ineos already owns Swiss side Lausanne-Sport.

At the last count, Sunday Times estimated Ratcliffe's net worth be around KSh 2.7 trillion while Chelsea's owner Abramovich is worth KSh 1.2 trillion.

Ratcliffe, who grew up in Manchester, has not previously linked with buying into English football.

Chelsea's future has become uncertain since Abramovich ran into UK visa problems, which caused him to miss Chelsea's FA Cup final victory over Manchester United last month. The 51-year-old was also granted Israeli citizenship which meant that he could visit Britain up to six months in a year but will have to apply for a work permit if he wants to keep doing business in the United Kingdom.

Ratcliffe is passionate about sport and believes primary schools should be legally required to make children run a daily mile as a means of combatting the obesity crisis.

A spokesman for Ratcliffe did not deny the industrialist's interest in Chelsea.