7th May, 2022
American business tycoon Todd Boehly has agreed to a £4.25billion ($5.24 billion) deal to buy Chelsea Football Club of London from Russian-Israeli billionaire Roman Abramovich.
Here below is a look at the state of play at Stamford Bridge.
How was the deal agreed upon?
Boehly and his consortium partners have battled past a host of suitors to strike a deal to buy Chelsea for the highest price ever paid for a sports club.
Former British Airways chairman Martin Broughton and Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca had joined Boehly in the final three bidding to buy the Blues.
Boehly and his partners brokered a deal with New York merchant bank the Raine Group, handling the sale on Chelsea’s behalf.
Chelsea eventually announced the agreement in the early hours of Saturday.
So what happens now?
Boehly and his partners must pass the Premier League’s owners’ and directors’ tests before the British government will then sign off the sale by granting a new license for the deal to be completed.
Why is Chelsea FC being sold?
Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale on March 2, amid Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine.
The 55-year-old was then sanctioned by the British government on March 10, with Downing Street claiming to have proven his links to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.
Abramovich’s ownership was left untenable, with the billionaire selling Chelsea after 19 years at the Stamford Bridge helm.
Are there any remaining concerns around the sale?
Abramovich cannot profit from the sale under the terms of his sanctions, but the Chelsea owner has long since pledged to donate all proceeds to a charitable foundation to aid victims of the war in Ukraine.
The government must agree to Abramovich’s plans to set up an independently-run charitable foundation to handle the distribution of those funds.
Abramovich wants to write off his 1.5 billion pounds loan to Chelsea, but the sanctions currently block such a move.
Chelsea and the government expect to find a resolution, with the Boehly sale agreement paving the way for the deal to be completed.
Who else is involved in the winning consortium?
Clearlake Capital will take the majority shareholding, with co-founder Behdad Eghbali taking the lead on all things Chelsea from the California-based investment firm.
Boehly’s LA Dodgers co-owner Mark Walter adds yet more sports administration expertise, while Swiss magnate Hansjorg Wyss is also involved.
What if the deal were to hit an unlikely snag?
Chelsea and the Raine Group could turn to one of the previous bidders should any problems arise with Boehly’s offer.
Though this now seems highly unlikely, Broughton’s bid would be expected to be progressed first should Boehly hit any trouble.
Ineos chief Jim Ratcliffe appears further removed from the picture.
Britain’s richest man tabled a last-ditch offer for the Blues last week but did so outside of the official sale process.
Raine rejected the bid out of hand, but in spite of that, the 69-year-old had refused to admit defeat on his candidacy.
Source: News Agency of Nigeria.