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Taiwan's Fubon gets foot in Premier League door with Chelsea bid

Financial group’s founding family looking to expand ownership of sports franchises

A Fubon Warriors promotional event on Thursday.

A Fubon Warriors promotional event on Thursday. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Fubon Financial Holding Co. has been involved in football since 2006, according to a report that aims to shed some light on news this week that one of Taiwan’s richest families is thinking of buying Chelsea Football Club in the U.K.

Many of the world’s best-read sports papers added the name of the Tsai (蔡) family, which is behind Fubon, as part of a consortium that aims to buy Chelsea from Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich. There are three bidders for the football club in play.

The group backed by the Tsai family is led by former British Airways Chairman Sir Martin Broughton. Formula 1 racing star Lewis Hamilton and tennis No. 1 Serena Williams are among the celebrity investors.

The Tsai family gave a “no comment” on the news, prompting local writers to find an angle on the story. A Yahoo report found that Fubon started a football league in Taiwan in 2006, even before it got involved in baseball and basketball.

The Tsai family own the Taipei Fubon Braves basketball and Fubon Guardians baseball teams. Two years ago, it was rumored that Richard Tsai (蔡明興) would buy the MLB’s New York Mets.