Tuesday, 29 November 2022

English Premier League Board Approves Chelsea Takeover By Todd Boehly Group

English Premier League Board Approves Chelsea Takeover By Todd Boehly Group

Todd Boehly's proposal to the takeover of Chelsea moved a step closer to completion on Tuesday when the Premier League board announced it had approved his purchase of the London club in a deal that could yet be finalized later in the day.

A consortium led by Boehly, a co-owner of baseball's Los Angeles Dodgers, had already agreed on a record 4.25 billion pound ($5.3 billion) deal to buy the Premier League club from owner Roman Abramovich on May 7. And a Premier League statement said Tuesday: "The Premier League has today approved the proposed to takeover Chelsea Football Club by the Clearlake Consortium/Todd Boehly.

"The buy remains subject to the (British) Government issuing the required license sale and the sufficient completion of the final steps of the transaction progress."

Officials would like everything to be wrapped up on Tuesday so Chelsea can meet all registration deadlines for next season's competitions, with a Government source telling Britain's Press Association:

"We believe everyone will be ready to issue the necessary licenses.

"The last remaining barrier boils down to many final technical details discussed with the club."

Russian billionaire Abramovich put Chelsea on the market in early March, just before the British government sanctioned him following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Completing the purchase has been a long process due to government concerns over the potential for Abramovich to profit from the sale.

The deal's total value smashes the previous record for selling a sports team for $2.4 billion for New York Mets baseball franchise in 2020.

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'Intense discussions'

Earlier on Tuesday, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed the government was working with Chelsea and also holding "intense discussions with the relevant international partners" to get the deal done "as soon as possible."

The Premier League statement added:

"The board has applied the Premier League's Owners' and Directors' Test (OADT) to all prospective directors and undertaken due diligence.

"The group members purchasing the club are affiliates of the Mark Walter, L.P., Todd Boehly, Hansjorg Wyss, and Clearlake Capital Group.

"Chelsea FC will now work with the suitable governments to secure the necessary licenses to complete the takeover."

Chelsea FC has been forced to operate under a special license from the UK govt since Abramovich, who bought the club in 2003, was sanctioned.

Under the license terms, Chelsea could not offer new contracts to existing players or sign players from other clubs.

The sale of the European champions brings the curtain down on 19 years of nearly unbroken success under the 55-year-old Abramovich, who has overseen five Premier League titles and two Champions League triumphs.

Chelsea finished third in the 2021/22 Premier League season completed Sunday and gained a place in Europe's Champions League, the continent's leading club football competition.

The Blues also reached the finals of English football's League Cup and FA Cup, only to lose both matches to Liverpool in penalty shoot-outs.

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