A consortium led by Todd Boehle, part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, has completed its acquisition of Premier League club Chelsea in a £4.25 billion deal.
The deal was officially announced on Saturday, ending Roman Abramovich’s 19-year presidency and freeing Chelsea from restrictions related to sanctions imposed on its former owner over alleged ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Chelsea will now be granted a new license to compete in the 2022-23 season, putting an end to three months of uncertainty during which they feared the club could cease to exist.
The club said in the current situation: “Chelsea Football Club can confirm that a definitive and definitive agreement was entered into last night for the sale of the club to the Todd Bohley/Clerlake Capital Consortium. The deal is expected to be completed on Monday. The club will conduct a further update at that time.”
Tuchel: Buhle could be Chelsea’s ‘lucky charm’
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Chelsea have won 21 titles in the 19 years under Abramovich’s ownership – no English club has won more titles in that time, and winning the Club World Cup in February in Abu Dhabi meant he completed the winning pool of every possible tournament at least once.
Abramovich said in a permit“As I hand Chelsea over to the new goalkeepers, I would like to wish them every success, both on and off the field. It has been the honor of a lifetime to be part of this club – I would like to thank all the club’s players, past and present, his staff and of course the fans for these wonderful years.” .
“I am proud that as a result of our shared successes, millions of people will now benefit from the new charity being created. This is the legacy we have built together.”
The Boehly-led consortium has been chosen as Chelsea’s preferred bidder by New York-based merchant bank Raine Group, which has been set to handle the sale after performing financial duties for the club over recent years.
British businessman Sir Jim Ratcliffe attempted to exploit disagreements over the exact terms of the sale by putting up his own £4.25 billion bid at the eleventh hour.
However, Abramovich appears to have conceded defeat in a bid to get the asking price of £2.5 billion – which was covered by a commitment from the Buhli camp of £1.75 billion of additional investment – paid in a company the UK government fears has links to members of his family. .
To ensure that the UK government and the European Commission sign the deal — Abramovich holds a Portuguese passport and is also sanctioned by the European Union — the sale money will be paid into a contract account with the proceeds distributed to victims of the war in Ukraine.
The deal is the most expensive for a sports team in history and includes a commitment not to sell a controlling stake in Chelsea for at least 10 years.
All parties had until May 31 to reach a final agreement as that was the expiration date of Chelsea’s own license to operate, and sources claim those involved were working around the clock to ensure the club’s existence was not threatened.
Although the process has been tense and unstable at times, sources at Chelsea have indicated that the usual time frame for a Premier League takeover is between nine and 12 months and that the Blues have changed hands in just over three months.
Abramovich first sought to create distance between himself and the club on February 26 as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine accelerated, issuing a statement the night before the Carabao Cup’s final defeat to Liverpool that he was passing “oversight and care” to the club. The Trustees of Chelsea, a charitable entity featuring notable personalities from past and present.
However, once it became clear that Chelsea’s trustees were completely ill-equipped to run one of the biggest clubs in world football and that they would not be insulated from any government action against Abramovich with this action, a second announcement followed just 72 hours later. in which he confirmed his intention to sell.
This sparked interest from around 200 parties, with sources indicating that the Raine Group had received more than 20 credible offers, eventually being limited to the Boehly-led group.
Sources told ESPN that a major factor was the early start to the Pohli camp from his previous interest in buying the Premier League team dating back to 2019.
Buhli, who owns a 20% stake in the Dodgers, explored the possibility of buying Chelsea or Tottenham Hotspur at the time, but was turned down in his attempts.
This time around he has proven successful with a consortium representing his face but the bulk of the funding comes from Clearlake Capital, a private equity firm headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and owned by Brad Igbali and Jose e Feliciano. Clearlake will be the largest shareholder, but other notables involved include Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss; Guggenheim Partners CEO, Mark Walter, who also owns a stake in Dodgers and L.A. Lakers; London-based property developer Jonathan Goldstein; and Danny Finkelstein, a former adviser to former British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Chelsea have been unable to acquire or offload players or renegotiate contracts with current squad members while operating under special licence, which contributed to the impending departures of Antonio Rudiger to Real Madrid and Andreas Christensen to Barcelona.
Sources have told ESPN that Chelsea’s new owners are expected to back coach Thomas Tuchel with big money to improve the squad while contract negotiations will resume with players, including midfield trio N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mason Mount. Additional restrictions that prevented the club’s mega store and stadium hotel from opening will now also be lifted.