Lewis Hamilton says that joining a consortium in a bid to buy Chelsea F.C. is “one of the greatest opportunities” and, if successful, he plans to help the club “move forwards”.
Sky Sports revealed on Thursday that Lewis Hamilton and tennis legend Serena Williams are investors in Sir Martin Broughton’s bid to buy Chelsea F.C.
At the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Friday press conference, Lewis confirmed reports that he is interested in the club.
“Ultimately, I’m a sporting fan,” Hamilton said.
“It’s the biggest sport in the world and Chelsea is one of the biggest clubs in the world and one of the most successful.
“When I heard about this opportunity I was like, ‘Wow’, this is one of the greatest opportunities to be a part of something.”
Some have noted it is surprising that, as an Arsenal fan, Lewis is interested in having a stake in one of the club’s biggest rivals.
“I’ve been a football fan since I was a kid, I’ve played since I was a kid, from four to 17 in teams every year. I played every year through childhood, I’ve been to numerous games.
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“When I was young, around the corner from where I lived, I used to play football with all the kids and a couple of my close friends at the time, and I really wanted to fit in. I was the only kid of colour there.
“All the kids supported someone different – one was Tottenham, one was Man United and I remember switching between these teams when I was younger and when I’d get home my sister punching me several times in the arm, and saying, ‘you have to support Arsenal.’
“So I remember at five, six years old I then became a supporter of Arsenal but my uncle Terry is a big Blues fan, so I’ve been to so many games with him to watch Arsenal and Chelsea play.”
Lewis then revealed how his and Williams’ investments came about.
“We did speak about it – Serena and I are very, very close. She’s a phenomenal athlete and woman.
“She asked me what my thoughts were on it and I told her that I’m going to be a part of it and she decided to join.
“Naturally I heard about it in the news, everyone was obviously aware of it. I got contacted and Sir Martin took time to speak to me on the phone and explain his and his team’s goals if they were able to win the bid that was incredibly exciting, and it very much aligned with my values.
“As a kid, I remember collecting all the stickers and getting the books with trading cards – I remember filling all those up as a kid and trading them for pennies, for sweets, with other kids.
“When I was younger I was trying to actually play for a team, try out for Stevenage but I ended up following racing.
“I could have only ever dreamed being a part of the team, an integral part of the team, so that’s for me the most exciting thing.”
Asked about the club’s previous owners’ human rights efforts, Lewis said:
“We’re trying to acquire a team and move it forwards. It’s all about the community. That’s what really makes a football team, the people in and around it.
“They’ve been quite leading in their work, becoming more diverse and progressive. It’s not that we’re associating ourselves with previous owners, our goal is to continue the work they’ve already done, having more of an impact and engaging more with the community,” the Briton concluded.