On the latest Sporticast episode, hosts Scott Soshnick and Eben Novy-Williams discuss some of the biggest sports business stories of the week, including another sports team worth more than $3 billion going up for sale. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich announced last week that he would sell the team in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, setting the stage for what could one of the most expensive sales in sports history.
Sportico values Chelsea at $3.35 billion and the NFL’s Denver Broncos at $3.8 billion, but the two clubs have arrived at similar valuations via drastically different economic models. The NFL has a strict salary cap, which means the owner of the Broncos will likely see nine-figure profit on an annual basis. The English Premier League has uncapped player costs, and Chelsea is competing on an international stage with deep-pocketed clubs like Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City. Chelsea won the Champions League last year as the best club team in Europe, and even if there had been no COVID attendance restrictions, would have lost $100 million.
The hosts check in on the MLB lockout, which has reached the stage where regular season games are being cancelled. They debate whether declining interest in baseball has raised the stakes for the owners and players to hammer out a deal as quickly as possible.
Lastly, Scott and Eben check in on the news that the NFL suspended Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley for at least the entire 2022 season for gambling on NFL games. Ridley has said he only gambled $1500; he was due to be paid more than $11 million.