Monday, June 27, 2022

Chelsea takeover: Premier League grants approval to Todd Boehly, government green light expected to follow

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Chelsea are one step away from finalizing the takeover of the club by the Todd Boehly-led consortium after the Premier League gave the green light to the Blues’ incoming owners on Tuesday.

Having agreed a $5 billion for the west London club, Boehly and his fellow consortium members have passed the league’s Owners’ and Directors’ Test. They now only require one final step to take control of the club, an amendment of the special license under which Chelsea have been operating since outgoing owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned in March. 

A Premier League statement said: “The Premier League board has today approved the proposed takeover of Chelsea Football Club by the Todd Boehly/Clearlake Consortium. The purchase remains subject to the government issuing the required sale license and the satisfactory completion of the final stages of the transaction.

“The board has applied the Premier League’s Owners’ and Directors’ Test to all prospective directors, and undertaken the necessary due diligence. The members of the consortium purchasing the club are affiliates of the Clearlake Capital Group, L.P., Todd Boehly, Hansjorg Wyss and Mark Walter. Chelsea FC will now work with the relevant governments to secure the necessary licenses to complete the takeover.”

That final hurdle is expected to be cleared before the license expires on May 31 with recent days having brought a breakthrough following weeks of tension between the government and Russian billionaire Abramovich, who has said that his proceeds from the sale will be directed to a fund to help victims of the war in Ukraine.

Speaking on Tuesday, prime minister Boris Johnson’s spokesperson said that the British government were in “intense discussions” to get the deal concluded “as soon as possible.” Due to Abramovich’s Portuguese citizenship, Portugal and the European Commission must also sign off on the deal to sell the club to the Boehly consortium. Johnson’s spokesperson confirmed that dialogue was underway with “relevant international partners.”

Finalization of a process that has been both remarkably swift for an acquisition of this scale and, on occasion, frustratingly glacial for Chelsea supporters, will be welcome news for manager Thomas Tuchel and Blues staff as they look to begin preparations for the 2022-23 Premier League season. Under the terms of their special license the club were unable to agree new contracts or make signings; progress on both fronts is expected in the coming weeks. Mason Mount and Reece James are both expected to be offered improved terms.

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