Todd Boehly-Clearlake consortium completes £4.25bn takeover of Chelsea ending 19-year Roman Abramovich reign

Todd Boehly Chelsea FCGetty/GOAL

The Todd Boehly-Clearlake Capital consortium has officially completed the purchase of Chelsea, ending Roman Abramovich's 19-year spell running the club.

The total investment will cost £4.25 billion ($5.2bn), with £2.5bn ($3.2bn) ending up being the sale price of the club, while there is an agreement in place that £1.75bn (2.1$bn) will be invested over 10 years. 

The purchase agreement was signed a fortnight ago and has been waived through by the Premier League Owners' and Directors' test, while the UK government, Portuguese authorities and European Union (EU) have all approved the financial transaction. 

What have Chelsea said about the takeover?

The club published a lengthy statement on Monday afternoon, which began: "Roman Abramovich has completed the sale of Chelsea Football Club and related companies to an investment group led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital."

It then went into detail over the complicated process involved in selling the club after it was first put up for sale in early March.

The statement read: "The process was extremely thorough and completed on an accelerated timeline. Many described the proposed transaction as “unprecedented”, and it was. A transaction such as this would normally take nine months to a year to complete; we did it in less than three months.

"The club received more than 250 enquiries from proposed purchasers, held detailed discussions with more than 100 individuals and entities, and entered into 32 confidentiality agreements, which allowed for due diligence with respect to confidential club information.

"Ultimately, the club received 12 credible bids, resulting in four and then three final bidders. The Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital consortium was chosen as the preferred bidder."

The statement concluded: " We would like to thank all of the bidders for their engagement, effort and participation in this process.

"We would also like to thank our men and women footballers, the staff of both teams, everyone in our academy, and in particular Thomas Tuchel and Emma Hayes for their patience and support during this process. And, of course, thank you to all our partners, staff and fans during this difficult phase for the club."

The statement, which was put out by the former Chelsea board as a final statement before the Boehly takeover, ended by thanking Abramovich for "19 amazing, unforgettable years."

Who are Chelsea's new owners?

Boehly is the co-owner of Major League Baseball's (MLB) Los Angeles Dodgers and a minority investor in the National Basketball Association (NBA) team LA Lakers. 

He tried to buy Chelsea in 2019 for £2.2bn ($2.7bn) only to see his offer rejected. He has publicly stated his interest in buying a Premier League team and is the face of this successful bid. 

Boehly is expected to take a seat on the board and a guiding role despite only having a minority stake. 

The majority of the money has been put up by Clearlake Capital with both the private equity firm's co-founders José E. Feliciano and Behdad Eghbali to be involved.

Mark Walter, who is the principal owner of the Dodgers, is also involved, along with Boehly's long-term associate and fellow billionaire Hansjorg Wyss

In non-executive board and advisory roles are Danny Finkelstein, the Times columnist and Tory peer, along with Barbara Charone, who is a PR executive in London. 

What will change at Chelsea under new ownership?

The Blues will no longer be a loss-making operation with Abramovich pumping in £1.5bn ($1.9bn) of his personal wealth to keep the club's lavish spending going. 

That's not to say the new owners won't invest, having done so in the past with their other sports teams, but they will look to increase revenues to ensure the books are balanced. 

It will be more akin to a Liverpool-style model with data driving many decisions at the club.

They have also agreed to invest in Stamford Bridge, the academy, the Women’s Team and Kingsmeadow (women's team stadium) and continued funding for the Chelsea Foundation.

Boehly is understood to have a detailed plan for the first-team stadium to bring it to the level of the top European football stadia. 

As for summer targets, Tuchel will ask for central defenders initially and Boehly's group intends to renew contracts for key players including Mason Mount and Reece James. 

Will Abramovich pocket the money from selling Chelsea?

The £2.5 bn ($3.2bn) purchase will end up going to a humanitarian charity to help the victims after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Former UNICEF executive Mike Penrose has been charged with setting up a foundation to receive the funds and give aid in the European warzone.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) are satisfied that Abramovich will not personally profit from the sale after receiving assurances and a legal structure that ensures he can't profit from the sale of his club.

It follows accusations that Abramovich has close ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries explained how the sale will work in practice: "Now that the Government has issued the licence, we expect the ownership transfer to take place in the coming days subject to Roman Abramovich agreeing to the sale himself.

"The net proceeds from the sale will be transferred from the buyers to a frozen UK bank account belonging to Fordstam [his holding company], the holding company owned by Mr Abramovich, which sold the Club. Any onward transfer of money will require further approval from the Government.

"Roman Abramovich has made a number of public statements regarding his intention to transfer the proceeds to the victims of the war in Ukraine. We have agreed a Deed of Undertaking in which he commits the proceeds to a charity in a jurisdiction agreed by the Government for the purposes of helping victims of the war in Ukraine.

"Any future movement of the sale revenue will be assessed in line with sanctions obligations and the position outlined in the Deed. It will be up to the Government to decide whether to license any movement of funds from the frozen account."

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