Chelsea sale: Todd Boehly-led consortium to complete takeover after government approval

The government said it was satisfied Roman Abramovich would not receive the proceeds of the sale of Chelsea Football Club

Tom Kershaw
Wednesday 25 May 2022 07:32
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<p>The UK Government has issued a licence for the sale of Chelsea (Stefan Rousseau/PA Images).</p>

The UK Government has issued a licence for the sale of Chelsea (Stefan Rousseau/PA Images).

The consortium led by Todd Boehly are set to complete their £4.25bn purchase of Chelsea after the government and Premier League both approved the sale.

The takeover, which includes a £1.75bn pledge of investment into the club, had been held up as the government sought legal guarantees that Roman Abramovich or his family would not benefit from the sale proceeds.

The government were satisfied to issue a new sale licence which should ensure the club can meet all deadlines for registration for next season’s competitions.

A government spokesperson said: “Following extensive work, we are satisfied the full proceeds will not benefit Abramovich or any sanctioned individual. We will now begin the process of ensuring the proceeds of the sale are used for humanitarian causes in Ukraine, supporting victims of the war.

“The steps today will secure the future of this important cultural asset and protect fans and the wider football community. We have been in discussions with relevant international partners for necessary licences required and we thank them for all their cooperation.”

Completion of the takeover will bring to an end a 12-week saga that was sparked by Abramovich officially putting the Blues up for sale on 2 March.

Chelsea’s players and staff found out the club was being sold at Kenilworth Road, amid final preparations for their FA Cup fifth-round clash at Luton Town.

The Blues prevailed 3-2 despite the obvious distractions, as Abramovich released a statement pledging to write off the club’s debt and set up a foundation to aid victims of the war in Ukraine.

Abramovich was then sanctioned by the UK Government on 10 March, with Downing Street claiming to have proven his links to Vladimir Putin.

Chelsea were put under a strict government operating licence, with all of Abramovich’s other UK assets frozen.

Once Boehly’s takeover is complete the Blues will be able to return to business as usual – and there will be no time to lose in reconfiguring the playing squad.

The Premier League approved Boehly’s takeover on Tuesday evening, in a statement that read: “The Premier League Board has today approved the proposed takeover of Chelsea Football Club by the Todd Boehly/Clearlake Consortium.

“The purchase remains subject to the government issuing the required sale licence and the satisfactory completion of the final stages of the transaction.”

Chelsea must now set about rebuilding their squad after a tumultuous season on and off the pitch, in which the team suffered two penalty shootout cup final defeats to Liverpool and their league form tailed away towards the end of the campaign. Several players including Antonio Rudiger, the captain Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Marcos Alonso are now set to leave Stamford bridge.

“The disadvantage in terms of timing for the rebuild is big,” said manager Thomas Tuchel after the final game of the season. “We have to be fast and smart. And the disadvantage grows every day, of course, while the two top teams improve their teams, and have very clear teams on which they build.

“It’s a kind of rebuild for us and makes things even more challenging.”

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