TRACK and Field legend and lifelong Chelsea fan Sebastian Coe is once again competing with the Americans.
The four-time Olympic medalist, 65, has joined forces with Sir Martin Broughton’s consortium and is now among the frontrunners as the race to buy the Blues heats up.
Sebastian Coe is part of Sir Martin Broughton’s consortium to buy ChelseaPhoto credit: Times Newspapers Ltd
Lord Coe looks to the sky after beating East Germany’s Jurgen Straub to gold at the 1980 GamesCredit: PA
Team GB legend and the Consortium take on American Todd Boehly.
Several bidders were told on Thursday they had not been shortlisted to take over the crisis-hit Premier League giants.
These included former US diplomat Woody Johnson, Saudi Media Group, London finance firm Aethel and flamboyant Turkish investor Muhsin Bayrak.
Individual groups have steadily learned their fate over the past 24 hours as a process of elimination begins to find new owners for one of the biggest clubs in world football.
A controversial offer from Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts has been turned down by some fans after historic anti-Islamic emails from a family member resurfaced.
But while that affected the Ricketts’ bid, last night they were still optimistic of making the second round of bidding.
However, speaking of the consortium he is part of, Coe said: “I am sure Sir Martin is the right man to lead Chelsea Football Club into its next chapter.
“He has the vision, the acumen and the financial backing to ensure the future success of our club, keeping Chelsea Football Club at the forefront of European football and fighting for trophies.
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“But most importantly, like me, he is a lifelong Chelsea fan and Shed End season ticket holder.
“This offer is for millions of Chelsea fans around the world. We love our club and will always put the fans first.”
If the offer is successful, it would begin another chapter in Coe’s extraordinary life.
Coe won 1500m gold at the 1980 and 1984 games, became a Tory Lord and then led the bid for the London 2012 Olympics, where he was instrumental in the Queen starring alongside Daniel Craig as James Bond in a video for the opening ceremony took place.
Married twice, father of four, Lord Coe has found love again with Los Angeles publicist Sarah Robarts, who is 13 years his junior.
legend from afar
Coe was destined to be an athletics star – his father Peter took over as coach when he became dissatisfied with his son’s training with Hallamshire Harriers in Sheffield.
His career began in 1977 when the then 21-year-old competed in the 800m at the European Indoor Championships in San Sebastián, leading the entire race and winning in 1:46.54, just shy of the world indoor record.
However, at the world level, he really announced himself at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow.
And a fight with compatriot Steve Ovett – revived from their cross-country days when they were rivals as teenagers – took center stage.
Coe snagged gold at the Russia Games in the 1500m, Ovett’s specialty, but he had to settle for silver in his favorite race – the 800m – which Ovett won instead.
A year later, Coe broke the 800m world record in Florence with a remarkable time of 1:41.73.
It took sixteen years to break but it still remains the British record and makes Coe the third fastest man ever at distance, tied with Nigel Amos.
Lord Coe in action at the 800 meter dash in Los Angeles in 1984Photo credit: Times Newspapers Ltd
Victorious Sebastian Coe celebrates winning gold in the 1500m in Los AngelesPhoto credit: Allsport-Getty
The 1984 Los Angeles Olympics were the last games he attended as he was not selected for Seoul 1988.
Like four years earlier, he took gold in the 1500m – running the last 400m in 52.2 and the last 100m in 12.1 seconds, the fastest finishes ever in a championship final.
retirement and politics
Coe hung up his Spikes in early 1990 with one eye on another trail.
He made the surprising step into politics in 1992 when he was elected Conservative MP for Falmouth and Camborne.
It was a seat he held for five years until losing in the 1997 general election.
Lord Coe briefly returned to politics as chief of staff to opposition leader William Hague after accepting an offer of life peerage in 2000.
However, last month he left the House of Lords permanently to take a job at the Czech company Sazka Entertainment AG, which will take over management of the National Lottery.
In the 1990s, Lord Coe moved into politics, representing the Conservatives as MPPhoto credit: Reuters
Lord Coe later served as William Hague’s chief of staffCredit: PA:Press Association
With some understanding of what it takes to host an Olympiad, Coe became an ambassador for London’s 2012 as well as a board member of the bid society.
After Barbara Cassani’s resignation in 2004, he soon became chairman for the later stages of the bid.
A year later, Coe stood before the International Olympic Committee and gave a presentation on why the Games should come to London.
Faced with stiff competition from Paris and Madrid, he managed to persuade the IOC that his bid was the strongest and London was chosen.
Then he started planning – he visited the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics to see how the city was getting on with hosting the event.
While the London Olympics were hailed as a success, the perfect prelude was film director Danny Boyle’s epic opening ceremony.
A short film called Happy and Glorious was shown, which starred the Queen, her corgis and Daniel Craig as James Bond.
Originally Boyle’s idea, when Oscar-winning filmmaker Coe proposed the plot, he immediately took it to his political contact Edward Young, the Queen’s assistant private secretary.
She fell in love with the idea and was spotted jumping out of a helicopter in the hilarious clip.
David Beckham and Lord Coe celebrate their successful bid for the 2012 OlympicsPhoto credit: Times Newspapers Ltd
Lord Coe carries the Olympic torch ahead of the 2012 gamesPhoto credit: AP:Associated Press
A success in his professional life, Coe’s personal life has had its ups and downs.
With two failed marriages, he certainly hasn’t had a smooth ride when it comes to romance.
Coe first married Nicky McIrvine in 1990 — just a year after they met at a dinner party.
She supported his transition from athletics to politics until they split in 2002.
In 2004, it was alleged that Coe had an affair with fashion designer Vanessa Lander during their marriage.
The revelation surfaced while he was leading London’s bid for the 2012 Olympics when she claimed he paid her to have an abortion.
Coe then found love with Carole Annett, who was retail editor at House & Garden for five years and daughter of former England cricketer Mike Smith.
However, their relationship was marred by scandal when her first husband Andy Annett called Coe a “marriage wrecker” and claimed Coe had an affair with his wife for a year prior to their split, Coe claims.
Finally, in 2011, Coe and Annett would walk down the aisle. But nine years later, they would break up.
“It is with regret that we announce our separation today,” they announced in a joint statement in 2020.
Coe has since found love with Los Angeles-based PR Sarah Robarts, a British-born mother of two who is 13 years his junior.
Should she share his love for Chelsea, we might well see the pair at Stamford Bridge in the director’s seats.
Lord Coe married Nicky McIrvine in 1990Credit: Rex Features
Carole Annett and Seb Coe’s romance has been the subject of controversy with allegations that they are having an affairCredit: Alamy
Los Angeles resident PR Sarah Robarts is Coe’s new girlfriendPhoto credit: Getty