Roman era ends as Abramovich completes sale of Chelsea

New owners Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital want to make Chelsea fans proud



Roman Abramovich. (AP file)
Roman Abramovich. (AP file)

By Reuters

Published: Mon 30 May 2022, 8:01 PM

Roman Abramovich has completed the sale of Chelsea and related companies to an investment group led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital, the Premier League club said on Monday, ending a three-month process to sell the club.

The consortium, which won the bid to acquire the London side earlier this month, received approval from the Premier League and the British government last week for the sale to go ahead. A final agreement was reached on Saturday.

Russian owner Abramovich put the club up for sale in early March following Russia’s conflict with Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special military operation”. Sanctions on the Russian had also complicated the sale process.

“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 said in a statement.

The sale also needed the green light from the Portugal government after Abramovich became a citizen of the country last year and is also under European Union sanctions.

Chelsea had been operating under a special license issued by the British government since Abramovich’s assets were frozen in March and it was set to expire on May 31.

Chelsea said they had received more than 250 enquiries from proposed purchasers, adding that 32 confidentiality agreements had been reached with interested parties.

The club eventually received 12 credible bids which were narrowed down to four before the Boehly-led consortium was chosen as the preferred bidder.

Abramovich bought the club in 2003 for a reported 140 million pounds ($177.21 million), with his investment resulting in the most successful era in their history as they won five Premier League titles, five FA Cups and the Champions League twice.

The club said Boehly and Clearlake would share joint control and equal governance of the club. Boehly, who is part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, will serve as chairman of the holding company.

“We are honoured to become the new custodians of Chelsea Football Club. We’re all in — 100% — every minute of every match,” Boehly said.

“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.”

The completion of the sale now allows Chelsea to renew transfer activity as well as permit players to sign new contracts, which was prohibited as part of the sanctions imposed.

Chelsea finished third in the recently concluded Premier League season. They lost to Liverpool in the FA Cup and League Cup finals while they were knocked out of the Champions League in the quarterfinals by eventual champions Real Madrid.


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