The Chelsea takeover process is officially complete, with the sale of Roman Abramovich’s club to a consortium led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital now confirmed.
Completion marks the end of the Abramovich era, which brought Stamford Bridge 21 trophies in 19 years of ownership.
The Blues’ future was thrown into doubt after sanctions were imposed on former owner Abramovich by the British government in March during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Abramovich, the Russian-Israeli billionaire who bought Chelsea in 2003, was allowed to sell the club as long as no proceeds accrued to him, while the Blues’ operations were restricted under a special licence.
It is understood the consortium led by LA Dodgers co-owner Boehly and Clearlake Capital have acquired the club for £4.25billion – a record sum for a Premier League club – which is expected to restore normality to the West London.
The British government has been assured that the funds will go to support victims of war in Ukraine, while around £1.5bn of debt has been forgiven by Abramovich.
The consortium also includes Hansjorg Wyss, founder of the Wyss Foundation, and Mark Walter, co-founder and CEO of Guggenheim Capital.
After a complex and lengthy process, Boehly will share joint control with Clearlake Capital, although the US billionaire will serve as chairman of the holding company, making him the face of Chelsea’s new era.
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The 48-year-old has promised to build on the club’s success with a big investment after 19 ‘unforgettable’ years.
“We are honored to become Chelsea Football Club’s new goalkeepers,” Boehly said.
“We are all – 100% – every minute of every game. Our vision as owners is clear: we want to make fans proud.
“In addition to our commitment to developing the youth team and acquiring top talent, our action plan is to invest in the club for the long term and build on Chelsea’s remarkable history of success.
“I personally want to thank ministers and officials across the UK government and the Premier League for all their work to make this happen.”
And the UK government has confirmed that the club’s long-term future is secured by the takeover.
A government spokesperson said: “Today’s change of ownership marks a new chapter for Chelsea Football Club in the best interest of its fans, the club and the wider football community.
“The club is no longer subject to the sanctions imposed on Roman Abramovich, an individual who enabled Putin’s brutal and barbaric invasion of Ukraine.
“Since the sanctions were imposed on Abramovich on March 10, we have worked tirelessly to ensure the club can continue to play football, while maintaining the integrity of our sanctions regime.
“Chelsea’s long-term future is now secure and binding undertakings have been received which ensure those sanctioned cannot benefit financially from the sale. The government remains in control to ensure this is the case.
“We have started the process to ensure that profits are used for humanitarian purposes in Ukraine resulting from Russian aggression. Further details will be announced in due course. »
Meanwhile, Chelsea have expressed their delight that a process that usually takes nine months can be completed in three.
A statement from the Blues read: “The Club received more than 250 inquiries from proposed buyers, held detailed discussions with more than 100 individuals and entities and entered into 32 confidentiality agreements, which enabled due diligence in relates to the confidential information of the Club.
“In the end, the Club received 12 credible offers resulting in 4 and then 3 final bidders. The Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital consortium was chosen as the preferred bidder.
Confirmation of the takeover has been in the works for a few weeks and Abramovich had already bid an emotional farewell to the club on Saturday.
He said: “It has been almost three months since I announced my intention to sell Chelsea FC.
“During this time, the team has been working hard to find the right goalkeeper for Chelsea FC who would be best placed to successfully lead the Club into its next chapter.
“I am pleased that this research has now come to a successful conclusion. As I hand over Chelsea to their new goalkeepers, I wish them the best of luck, both on and off the pitch.
“It has been an honor of a lifetime to be part of this club – I want to thank all of the club’s past and current players, staff and of course the fans for these amazing years.”
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