Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Chelsea takeover: Todd Boehly reaches purchase agreement to land Premier League club from Roman Abramovich

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A new dawn is coming for Chelsea as a consortium led by American businessman Todd Boehly has signed a purchase agreement to buy the club from Roman Abramovich in a deal worth up to $4.9 billion (upwards to 4 billion pounds), The Telegraph reports. The deal will now be pending approval from the Premier League and the United Kingdom government. 

The consortium includes includes Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss, American businessman Mark Walker and British entrepreneur Jonathan Goldstein. This would see Boehly add Chelsea to a portfolio that already includes the Los Angeles Dodgers in MLB, the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA and the Los Angeles Sparks in the WNBA. 

The agreement doesn’t exactly guarantee a sale but it is a binding agreement that Boehly will purchase the club. Not to mention, the report also notes that the Premier League is expected to give the Boehly-led group the OK as soon as they pass the owners’ and directors’ test, a process that slowed Newcastle United’s Saudi-led takeover by 18 months. This time around, according to CBS Sports’ Ben Jacobs, the league has “soft vetted” the listed directors from Boehly’s consortium as they rush against the clock with the  club’s current operating license is set to run out on May 31. 

The U.K. government would need to ensure that no funds are transferred to Abramovich, who on Thursday issued a statement denying any reports that he would pursue the loan of 1.6 million pounds owed to him, which likely eased concerns enough for the sale to go through.

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The Blues have three weeks left on their current operating license as they rush to avoid a mass player exodus, with Antonio Rudiger already set to leave for Real Madrid and Andreas Christensen preparing to join Barcelona over the summer after failing to agree to terms on contract extensions. The new ownership coming in will try to put the house in order with plans to redevelop the Stamford Bridge area and nothing will be a higher priority than convincing Thomas Tuchel that he should stay on board with the new project, however.

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