Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich and the English team Chelsea FC have found a buyer: a consortium led by the American Todd Boehly, co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball club, made a colossal offer for some 5.2 billion dollars, an unprecedented figure in transactions of soccer clubs.
"Chelsea FC can confirm that terms have been agreed" for what "a new ownership group, led by Todd Boehly"acquire the club for an amount of 4,250 million pounds, he said in a statement.
"The sale is expected to be completed by the end of May, subject to all necessary regulatory approvals."added the London club.
The sale will end 19 years of Abramovich’s era, close to the Kremlin, who bought the club for 140 million pounds and, at the stroke of a checkbook, has led the London club to win five Premier League titles and two Champions Leagues ( 2012, 2021).
The tycoon put Chelsea up for sale in March, shortly after coming under British government sanctions following the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, insisting he would not claim repayment of loans made by the club over these 19 years. and that all profits from the operation would go to the victims of the war.
After a long negotiation process with several groups, Boehly and his partners were chosen by the Raine group, a New York bank in charge of the process of selling the latest Champions League winners.
In addition to Boehly, the group includes Dodger co-owner Mark Walter, Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss and US investment firm Clearlake Capital.
"Of the total investment made, 2,500 million pounds (3,000 million dollars) will be used to buy the club’s shares and said income will be deposited in a frozen British bank account with the intention of giving 100% to charitable causes, as confirmed by Roman. Abramovich"Chelsea said.
"UK government approval will be needed to transfer this income from the frozen UK bank account"he added.
In addition, the new owners commit to an investment of 1,750 million pounds (about 2,200 million dollars) for the benefit of the club.
End of the Abramovich era
"It is not a relief, but it gives us perspective, now that an agreement has been found"explained this Saturday the German coach of Chelsea, Thomas Tuchel, at the microphone of the Sky Sports network, before the start of the match that his team plays in this 36th day of the Premier League against Wolverhampton.
"Let’s hope this runs its course for as long as possible so we can act without sanctions. So it’s good news"added the technician.
The officialization of the purchase of Chelsea is a ball of oxygen for the English formation, concerned about the time it took to finalize the sale. Waiting for their future to be clarified, the London club was forced to operate with a special license from the government after Abramovich was sanctioned by the United Kingdom and the European Union for his links with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The situation raised fears about the future of the club if it was not sold by May 31, when the special license from the British government expires.
According to its terms, Chelsea could not extend contracts to its current players or make new signings.
These extra-sports problems seem to have had an impact on the pitch. The club was eliminated in the Champions League quarter-finals against Real Madrid and suffered unexpected setbacks in the Premier League where they have yet to secure their place in the top four.