Chelsea sold to consortium led by US sports investor Todd Boli, ending 19-year tenure and generous investment by Roman Abramovich until Russian oligarch was sanctioned and forced to unload Premier League club.
The sale price of 2.5 billion pounds ($ 3.1 billion) is the most lucrative for a sports team worldwide, but Abramovich cannot get the proceeds, which he hopes will go to a fund to help victims of the war in Ukraine. Another £ 1.75 billion ($ 2.2 billion) is planned to be invested in the current winners of the Club World Cup.
Chelsea said on Saturday that the terms of the buyout had been agreed with the consortium, also involving Mark Walter, who is also part of the Dodgers group, Swiss billionaire Hansorg Vis and financing private investment company Clearlake Capital.
The Premier League must approve them as the new owner, and the government must sign a new one under the terms of a license that allows Chelsea to continue to operate as a business until May 31, until one of Abramovich’s frozen assets.
Chelsea expects the deal to be completed by the end of May.
“Proceeds will be transferred to a frozen bank account in the UK with the intention of donating 100% to charity, as confirmed by Roman Abramovich,” – said in a statement, “Chelsea.”
Pain already in London is expected to attend Chelsea’s Premier League match against Wolverhampton at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Thomas Tuchel’s team is third in the standings, remaining in four games, the title is unattainable, but qualification in the Champions League is closer to security.
Chelsea have the smallest and oldest stadium of the most successful Premier League clubs, and plans to renovate the 41,000-seat venue have been postponed by Abramovich in 2018 as British-Russian diplomatic tensions deepen.
Chelsea have said £ 1.75 billion will be used to fund an investment in Stamford Bridge, an academy and women’s team that could win the championship title on Sunday.
Fight is a co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers MLB franchise, and also has minority stakes in the NBA Los Angeles Lakers and WNBA Los Angeles Sparks.
The challenge will be to maintain expectations of regular trophies received as part of Chelsea’s costly transformation following Abramovich’s ransom, which led to a 50-year drought in English.
Chelsea have won 21 trophies in 19 years of Abramovich’s tenure, which ended abruptly after his assets were frozen as part of British government sanctions as part of the crackdown on wealthy Russians linked to President Vladimir Putin following the February invasion of Ukraine.
Chelsea won the championship only once – in 1955 – when Abramovich bought the club in 2003. Thanks to a number of expensive subscriptions, the club won the Premier League title two years later and added four more since then, most recently in 2017.
Only in England is the competition from wealthy owners for buying and retaining players intensifying. Manchester City has been enjoying Abu Dhabi investments since 2008, and the Saudi sovereign wealth fund bought Newcastle last year.
No details about Chelsea’s future day-to-day leadership, which was the first Premier League club to benefit from mega-rich foreign investors in 2003, have been reported.
Fighting, who studied at the London School of Economics, co-founded investment firm Eldridge Industries in 2015 and is its chairman and CEO. The private holding has investments in more than 70 businesses, including sports, entertainment and media.
In addition to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Boehly has minority stakes in the NBA Los Angeles Lakers, WNBA Los Angeles Sparks, eSports organization Cloud9 and DraftKings, an American fantasy sports betting company.
He is chairman of Security Benefit, a retirement solutions provider based in Topeka, Kansas, and MRC, an entertainment company that funds and produces film and television programs, including major shows such as the Golden Globe, American Music Awards and Billboard Music Awards.
Other MRC holdings include Penske Media, which owns Billboard, Rolling Stone, Variety and Hollywood Reporter.
Prior to co-founding Eldridge, Bellie was president of Guggenheim Partners. Walter, who teamed up with Boehly to buy Chelsea, is the CEO of a financial services firm.
Their first chance to see Chelsea win the trophy will be next Saturday. Liverpool is a rival in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium.