Roman Abramovich era officially over as Chelsea confirm sale to Todd Boehly consortium
Posted by  badge Boss on May 30
The £4.25billion takeover has finally been completed (Pictures: PA / Getty Images)

Roman Abramovich’s time as owner of football club is officially over after a £4.25 billion takeover led by Todd Boehly was finally completed on Monday.

The west club was put up for sale in March after Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK government over his links to Russian president Vladimir Putin following the invasion of earlier this year.

Since then, Chelsea have been operating under a special license which was due to expire on 31 May – with Monday’s deal rubberstamped just in time to beat the deadline.

A statement from the club on Monday read: ‘Roman Abramovich has completed the sale of Chelsea Club and related companies to an investment group led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital.

‘This sale process commenced on 2 March, when Mr. Abramovich announced his intention to sell the club after 19 successful years of ownership. In selling the club, Mr. Abramovich stipulated that the new owner must be a good steward of the club, the net proceeds of the sale must be donated to charity, and that he would not seek the repayment of loans made to affiliates of the club.

‘Following this announcement, the board of directors and senior staff at the club immediately commenced work on the sale transaction. Raine, a global merchant bank chosen by the owner to run the sale process, has significant expertise and experience advising premium sports clubs on mergers and acquisitions and advised the owner and the club in the process.’

Bruce Buck, left, will remain as chairman under Boehly, right (Picture: Getty)

After a prolonged bidding process overseen by US merchant bank Raine Group, a consortium headed by American businessman Boehly – and majority-funded by Californian investment firm Clearlake Capital – was selected as the preferred buyer.

Other investors include US billionaire Mark Walter – Boehly’s co-owner at the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team – and Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss, who first revealed the news that Abramovich was looking to sell Chelsea.

Last week, the Premier League confirmed that the consortium had passed its owners’ and directors’ test, with the deal also getting final approval from the European Union and Portugal – an additional requirement due to Abramovich’s Portuguese citizenship.

The deal had hit a stumbling block earlier this month over concerns regarding what would happen to the proceeds from the sale, with the sanctions imposed on Abramovich preventing him from profiting in any way.

But after extensive talks, the government received the assurances they needed with the proceeds from the sale going into a frozen bank account which will then be used for ‘humanitarian causes in Ukraine, supporting victims of the war’.

The completion of the sale will now allow Chelsea to kickstart their transfer activity and reopen contract talks with current players, both of which had been prohibited while the club was sanctioned.

Roman Abramovich's farewell message to Chelsea

‘It has been nearly three months since I announced my intention to sell Chelsea FC. During this time, the team have worked hard to find the right custodian for Chelsea FC that would be best positioned to successfully lead the club into its next chapter.

‘The ownership of this club comes with great responsibility. Since I came to Chelsea nearly 20 years ago, I have witnessed first-hand what this club can achieve. My goal has been to ensure that the next owner has a mindset that will enable success for the men’s and women’s team, as well as the will and drive to continue developing other key aspects of the club, such as the academy and the vital work of Chelsea Foundation.

‘I am pleased this search has now come to a successful conclusion. As I hand over Chelsea to its new custodians, I would like to wish them the best of success, both on and off the pitch.’

Manager Thomas Tuchel is keen to move quickly and decisively in the market and has been promised significant investment from the new owners, with Abramovich demanding a commitment to invest in the club – both on and off the pitch – from his successors.

The Russian oligarch bought the club for £140m in 2003 and oversaw the most successful era of Chelsea’s history, investing heavily to secure five Premier League titles, five FA Cups and two Champions League trophies during his reign.

Chelsea spent over £2bn in the transfer market under Abramovich though he pulled the plug on plans to build a new stadium on the current Stamford Bridge site – something prospective bidders were required to commit to.

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