Serena Williams is one step closer to owning another professional sports team. According to Reuters, the tennis superstar has joined forces with Formula One Champion Lewis Hamilton to purchase the Chelsea Football Club. Williams and Hamilton have reached pledged $13.06 million to join the bid which is led by Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton. The group also includes World Athletics president Sebastian Coe and other investors from around the world, according to ESPN.
Williams, 40, is no stranger to owning a sports team as she is an investor in Los Angeles' Angel City FC, which will make its debut in the National Women's Soccer League later this month. Other notable owners of Angle City FC are Becky G, Eva Longoria, Mia Hamm Gabrielle Union, Christina Aguilera and Natalie Portman — who is also a co-founder.
Bids to buy Chelsea began after the club's owner Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, announced he was putting the team up for sale on March 2. He made the decision after British government actions imposed on him following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. "In the current situation, I have therefore taken the decision to sell the club, as I believe this is in the best interest of the club, the fans, the employees, as well as the club's sponsors and partners," the statement said.
"The sale of the club will not be fast-tracked but will follow due process. "I will not be asking for any loans to be repaid. This has never been about business nor money for me, but about pure passion for the game and club. Moreover, I have instructed my team to set up a charitable foundation where all net proceeds from the sale will be donated. The foundation will be for the benefit of all victims of the war in Ukraine. This includes providing critical funds towards the urgent and immediate needs of victims, as well as supporting the long-term work of recovery."
Chelsea is part of the Premier League and has been playing soccer for 117 years. In its history, Chelsea has won the Premier League title six times, the FA Cup eight times, the UEFA Champions League twice and the FIFA Club World Cup which was won last year.