The Chelsea takeover has been completed as Roman Abramovich has sold the Premier League to an investment group led by American Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital.
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Under the terms of the agreement Boehly and Clearlake will share joint control and equal governance of the club.
Boehly will serve as Chairman of the holding company.
This process has been going on since early March when Abramovich announced he would end his 19 years in charge at Chelsea.
Days later he was sanctioned by the UK government for his close links with Russian president Vladimir Putin amid the ongoing war in Ukraine, and that has made this Chelsea takeover incredibly complicated as the UK government put several sanctions on the club and gave them a short-term license to operate for the rest of the season until Abramovich sold the club.
However, after a lengthy process to find the right owner the deal has been confirmed and Boehly’s group has bought Chelsea for a fee of $3.5 million and there is a ‘binding financial commitment’ that $2.2 billion will be spent on the club via its youth and women’s teams, Stamford Bridge and other facilities in the coming years.
As part of this deal (which the UK government had to sanction), Roman Abramovich will not receive a single cent and the $1.9 billion he loaned to Chelsea, while all net profits will go to charity.
Below is the statement from Chelsea confirming the takeover, which was released immediately upon the sale of the club.
“Roman Abramovich has completed the sale of Chelsea Football Club and related companies to an investment group led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital.
“This sale process commenced on 2 March, when Mr. Abramovich announced his intention to sell the Club after 19 successful years of ownership. In selling the Club, Mr. Abramovich stipulated that the new owner must be a good steward of the Club, the net proceeds of the sale must be donated to charity, and that he would not seek the repayment of loans made to affiliates of the Club.”
Chelsea added that ‘all necessary consents, as well as further licences required in Portugal, Canada and Jersey due to the structure of the previous ownership’ and that the ‘new joint control owners are committed to growth and building on the tradition of unparalleled football excellence.’
Todd Boehly reaction
Todd Boehly is chairman and CEO of Eldridge, and Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. as the ‘Clearlake’ consortium also includes Hansjorg Wyss, founder of the Wyss Foundation, and Mark Walter, co-founder and CEO of Guggenheim Capital.
Walter and Boehly are owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Los Angeles Sparks and have vast experience of U.S. sports.
“We are honoured to become the new custodians of Chelsea Football Club,” Boehly said. “We’re all in – 100% — every minute of every match. Our vision as owners is clear: we want to make the fans proud.
“Along with our commitment to developing the youth squad and acquiring the best talent, our plan of action is to invest in the Club for the long-term and build on Chelsea’s remarkable history of success. I personally want to thank ministers and officials in the British government, and the Premier League, for all their work in making this happen.”
In Chelsea’s statement they went on to confirm they received ‘more than 250 enquiries from proposed purchasers, held detailed discussions with more than 100 individuals and entities, and entered into 32 confidentiality agreements.’
They added that there were ’12 credible bids, resulting in 4 and then 3 final bidders’ before the Boehly group became the preferred bidders.