- Hamilton is an Arsenal supporter, and Canoville thinks it is disrespectful for the Seven-time Formula One champion to get involved in Chelsea ownership
- According to sources, both Hamilton and Serena Williams have pledged an estimated £10 million to the bid
- The Mercedes driver stated while at the Emilia Romagna Gp that his sister forced him to support Arsenal
Former Chelsea winger Paul Canoville has questioned Lewis Hamilton’s involvement in a bid to take over the English Premier League team, calling his involvement “disrespectful.”
Prior to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the seven-time champion confirmed his involvement with a consortium of investors led by former British Airways chairman Sir Michael Broughton, pledging a reported £10 million to the cause.
Serena Williams, a friend and tennis star, is also on board, as is Olympic legend, Sebastian Coe.
Hamilton’s involvement piqued interest due to his long-standing support for Chelsea’s London rivals, Arsenal. The Mercedes driver claimed at Imola that he was forced to support the team by his sister.
The Broughton-led bid is one of three being considered to take over ownership of the club left vacant by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich. He relinquished control following the invasion of Ukraine.
Canoville, the club’s first black player, praised both Hamilton and Williams for their efforts to increase diversity in sport but is highly sceptical of their impact as part of the club’s ownership team.
“Don’t anyone get me wrong, I am a huge fan of both Serena and Lewis,” Canoville wrote on Twitter.
“Both Williams sisters have been phenomenal achievers and proud advocates of civil rights issues. It ticks a big box with me personally, of course.
“As far as playing a role in developing anti-racism, diversity and inclusion programmes for Chelsea, I feel this disrespectful to our own supporter base.”
Hamilton’s loyalty questioned
When asked about the potential deal, Hamilton’s loyalty was questioned by his title rival from last season, Max Verstappen.
“Serena is on record as saying she supports Real Madrid. While I know Lewis has now suggested he was bullied into supporting Arsenal by his sister.
“He is an Arsenal fan, and that’s a fact,” Canoville said of Hamilton and Williams.
“I will always support Lewis Hamilton in everything he does in F1. He is the most excellent driver ever, in my opinion.
As with Serena, she is a phenomenal icon for black achievement and civil rights.
“With football, though, I think he should stay loyal to his own team.
According to a source close to the group, the inclusion of Hamilton and Williams is a serious investment choice based on their experience in developing worldwide sports brands.
They also noted that the pair’s involvement was not the first time well-known athletes had funded a Premier League club