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Boehly-led consortium completes Chelsea takeover

A consortium led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital has completed its acquisition of Chelsea, with the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge among the areas of investment outlined by the club’s new owners.

The consortium has purchased Chelsea from Roman Abramovich, who signalled his intention to sell the club on March 2 after sanctions were placed on him by the European Union following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Abramovich was later sanctioned by the UK government on March 10, resulting in Chelsea operating within a general licence granted by the government. The restrictions, which have been lifted following the completion of the takeover, had meant that Chelsea was unable to sell new tickets for matches or buy players.

Boehly and Clearlake Capital have made a £4.25bn (€4.99bn/$5.36bn) commitment to Chelsea, with an initial £2.5bn having been paid to purchase the club. A further £1.75bn investment will be made over the next 10 years.

The consortium also includes Hansjörg Wyss, founder of the Wyss Foundation, and Mark Walter, co-founder and chief executive of Guggenheim Capital. Walter and Boehly are owners of Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers, the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks.

Chelsea said it received more than 250 enquiries from proposed purchasers and held detailed discussions with more than 100 individuals and entities. The club entered into 32 confidentiality agreements and received 12 credible bids, which resulted in four and then three final bidders before the Boehly and Clearlake Capital consortium was chosen as the preferred bidder.

The takeover has officially been completed after it received all necessary approvals from the UK government, the Premier League and other authorities. Boehly and Clearlake will share joint control and equal governance of the club, with Boehly to serve as chairman of the holding company.

In a statement, Chelsea said that Boehly and Clearlake are committed to investing in “key areas that will extend and enhance” the club’s competitiveness, including the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge, further investments in the academy, the women’s team, and Kingsmeadow stadium.

Chelsea was given permission to expand the capacity of Stamford Bridge back in January 2017 but the plans were put on hold in May 2018 due to what the club described at the time as the “unfavourable investment climate”. In March 2020, Chelsea said it would continue to consider options for a new stadium “should economic conditions improve” but no major progress has been made since then.

Boehly said: “We are honoured to become the new custodians of Chelsea Football Club. 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.”

Image: Daniel/CC BY 2.0/Edited for size