The fate of Chelsea FC has finally been confirmed. The Roman Abramovich era has officially come to an end after the club accepted the bid put forward by a consortium led by American businessman Todd Boehly. The total sale price is reported to be £4.25 billion (€4.9 billion).
Even though the UK Parliament is overseeing the sale, Roman Abramovich still made the decision on which bid to accept, putting into consideration the future of the club that he had nurtured for two decades. Since acquiring Chelsea in 2003, the Russian has transformed the club into a domestic and European powerhouse. Understandably, he wants the new owner to continue his vision.
Last week, there was a bigger last minute offer from Sir Jim Ratcliffe of INEOS, but Todd Boehly was chosen by Abramovich to be his successor. Boehly already has a good track record in the sporting world, being a part-owner of the Los Angles Dodgers as well as the Los Angeles Lakers and Sparks.
Of the total amount, £2.5bn (€2.9 billion) will be allocated as the actual purchase price for the club shares. This money will be transferred to a frozen bank account in the UK, and the entire amount will be used for humanitarian efforts towards Ukrainian families affected by the Russian invasion.
Apart from the outright purchase of the club shares, a further £1.75bn (€2bn) will be invested into the club’s development including both the men’s and women’s teams, the academy, the Chelsea Foundation as well as the modernisation of Stamford Bridge and other club facilities.
It is a pivotal moment for the club, who will now say goodbye to the well-loved Russian oligarch. Unfortunately, sanctions imposed upon individuals linked with Russian President Vladimir Putin forced Abramovich to sell the club.
Below is Chelsea’s statement in full:
“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 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.”