Chelsea’s Todd Boehly was spotted in the stands for Chelsea’s match against Wolves, the club’s first game after his consortium agreed to buy the club for £4.25 billion.
Following the UK government’s approval, Chelsea confirmed on their official website at 1.37 a.m. on Saturday morning that the American consortium could purchase the club. The Raine group, the American bank in charge of the sale, had already designated Boehly’s consortium as the favoured bidder to take over at Stamford Bridge.
He’s collaborated with Mark Walter, another LA Dodgers owner; Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss; and investment firm Clearlake Capital. Boehly beat over consortiums led by Stephen Pagliuca and Sir Martin Broughton, as well as a late £4.25 billion bid from Britain’s richest man, Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
The statement is welcome news for Chelsea fans, who have been concerned about the club’s future since former owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the government. Chelsea’s attendance versus Wolves was limited once again, with spectators unable to purchase tickets and only season ticket holders permitted to attend.
The agreement, which is anticipated to be finalized in May if the government and Premier League give their approval, brings the club and its fans to an end of major uncertainty. In recent years, Chelsea’s owner has been a rare sight at Stamford Bridge.
After being sanctioned for his ties to Vladimir Putin, Abramovich sold his shares and attended his first game as a club owner in over three years when Chelsea drew 1-1 with Manchester United last year. Because of visa issues, the Russian had not been to Stamford Bridge since the game against United in 2018.
Early this week, there were fears that Abramovich might break his agreement to write off a £1.6 billion loan, putting the Blues at risk. Any potential purchase would have been thrown into disarray if this had happened because UK ministers who approved the sale wanted none of the proceeds to go to Russia.
Chelsea said in a statement released early Saturday morning that arrangements have been agreed for a new ownership group, led by Todd Boehly, Clearlake Capital, Mark Walter, and Hansjoerg Wyss, to acquire the club. Abramovich said £2.5 billion of the overall investment will be used to buy the club’s shares, with the revenues going into a frozen UK bank account with the goal of donating 100% to philanthropic organizations, according to Roman Abramovich. The proceeds will need to be transferred from the blocked UK bank account with the permission of the UK government. ‘
In addition, the prospective new owners will invest an additional £1.75 billion in the club’s benefit. ‘ This includes money for the Chelsea Foundation as well as investments at Stamford Bridge, the Academy, the Women’s Team, and Kingsmeadow. The transaction is scheduled to close in late May, pending all regulatory approvals. At that time, more information will be supplied.
Last night, Boehly was photographed for the first time at Stamford Bridge. The photo was posted on Twitter late Friday night by Darren Lavery, just hours before Chelsea announced Boehly’s consortium had signed a purchase agreement to take over the club.
Former chancellor George Osborne was also seen in the photo, having been invited in by the consortium to assist with the buyout. In a Tweet, Lavery said that Boehly, an American millionaire, was “more than glad to stand and chat away with us,” adding that the businessman was a “top, top guy.”