In the early hours of Saturday, Chelsea confirmed the sale of the club to the consortium led by American billionaire Todd Boehly.
After three months of bidding, vetoing and conducting checks, the consortium of Todd Boehly, co-owner of the Major League Baseball franchise Los Angeles Dodgers and NBA franchise Los Angeles Lakers, Boehly’s business partner and co-owner at Los Angeles Dodgers Mark Walter, Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss, British property developer Jonathan Goldstein, and investment firm Clearlake Capital have emerged as the club’s new owners.
Chelsea confirmed this in a statement around 2 AM on Saturday. The statement on their website reads: “Chelsea Football Club can confirm that terms have been agreed for a new ownership group, led by Todd Boehly, Clearlake Capital, Mark Walter and Hansjoerg Wyss, to acquire the Club.
“Of the total investment being made, £2.5bn will be applied to purchase the shares in the Club and such proceeds will be deposited into a frozen UK bank account with the intention to donate 100% to charitable causes as confirmed by Roman Abramovich. UK Government approval will be required for the proceeds to be transferred from the frozen UK bank account.
“In addition, the proposed new owners will commit £1.75bn in further investment for the benefit of the Club. This includes investments in Stamford Bridge, the Academy, the Women’s Team and Kingsmeadow and continued funding for the Chelsea Foundation.
“The sale is expected to complete in late May subject to all necessary regulatory approvals. More details will be provided at that time.”
Boehly was seen at the club just before their Premier League match against Wolverhampton Wanderers and posed for some pictures with fans of his latest sports acquisition. His takeover of the club, however, is still subject to him passing the Premier League owners’ and directors’ test which the club believes will not be a problem.
The government of the United Kingdom is currently in the process of improving the bid and softening the sanctions placed on the club while it was under Roman Abramovich’s ownership.
It has also been claimed by sources close to the successful bid that Chelsea will adapt the Fenway Sports Group (FSG) business and sports model for signings and transfer business at Liverpool to their own business and sports model in the transfer market.
The Boehly-led consortium will also add Chelsea fans to their board and decision making process as a way to give the fans more power over the club. Danny Finkelstein, a British politician and a columnist for The Times, and Barbara Charone, a powerful marketing executive in the entertainment industry are the first of the Chelsea fans who have been nominated to the new board which will be formed when the takeover is complete in May.
Boehly will also introduce different innovations like loyalty programs, stock options, and fan tokens in order to have more interactions with the club’s fans while giving them the option of directly investing in the success of the club.