Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Todd Boehly takes over Chelsea, Premier League approves

The takeover of Chelsea has taken a big step forward this evening with the Premier League having approved the consortium fronted by Todd Boehly

The Premier League has approved the £4.25billion takeover of Chelsea after the members of the consortium fronted by U.S. billionaire Todd Boehly passed its owners’ and directors’ test – but the sale of the club by Roman Abramovich remains subject to government approval.

It was at the beginning of March, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, that Abramovich dramatically announced his decision to sell the club after 19 years as owner. Eight days later, he was sanctioned by the UK government, which issued Chelsea a special – and restrictive license – to continue operating day-to-day.

The sale of Chelsea was overseen by the U.S. merchant bank The Raine Group, and a number of potential bidders were whittled down to a four-consortium strong shortlist. It was from there that the Boehly bid, which is supported by investment firm Clearlake Capital, Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss and Mark Walter, part-chairman of Major League Baseball franchise Los Angeles Dodgers, was eventually selected.

Boehly has attended several Chelsea games over the past two months and he was in attendance at Stamford Bridge on Sunday for the Blues’ final game of the 2021/22 campaign: a 2-1 victory over Watford. The American and Wyss then made their way down to the pitch and greeted the players as they emerged from the tunnel ahead of their lap of appreciation.

That gave Chelsea supporters hope that the takeover process had moved into its final days. That has proved to be the case, with Premier League approval being a huge step toward the purchase being completed, although new licences will need to be granted by the relevant governments to ensure that happens.

“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,” the statement read.

“The Board has applied the Premier League’s Owners’ and Directors’ Test (OADT) to all prospective Directors, and undertaken the necessary due diligence. The members of the Consortium purchasing the club are affiliates of the Clearlake Capital Group, L.P., Todd Boehly, Hansjorg Wyss and Mark Walter.

“Chelsea FC will now work with the relevant Governments to secure the necessary licences to complete the takeover.”