Los Angeles Dodgers owner Todd Boehly is nearing the takeover of Chelsea Football Club, one of the biggest football teams in the world, following the approval of the UK Government.
On Wednesday, it was reported that the government has issued a license that will allow the Todd Boehly/Clearlake Consortium to complete its purchase of the team after beating out several competitors to become the winning bidder.
The club was put up for sale by Russian owner Roman Abramovich, who has been in charge for 19 years, up until he was sanctioned by the UK government for alleged ties to Vladimir Putin earlier this year. With the UK now convinced that Abramovich will not benefit from the sale in any way – he has vowed to commit all proceeds towards charitable efforts in Ukraine – they have granted a sale license permitting the completion of the takeover.
Boehly’s Dodgers are currently playing out a series against the Arizona Diamondbacks but the businessman’s focus will be elsewhere as he’s soon to be the owner of one of the most prestigious football teams in Europe. For those not so focused on the takeover but keener on baseball proceedings, there are various avenues, including Arizona sports betting platforms, offering great odds on the games.
“Late last night the UK government reached a position where we could issue a license that permits the sale of Chelsea Football Club,” a government spokesperson said on Wednesday, per The Athletic.
“Following the sanctioning of Roman Abramovich, the government has worked hard to ensure Chelsea Football Club has been able to continue to play football. But we have always been clear that the long-term future of the club could only be secured under a new owner.
“Following extensive work, we are now satisfied that the full proceeds of the sale will not benefit Roman Abramovich or any other sanctioned individual. We will now begin the process of ensuring the proceeds of the sale are used for humanitarian causes in Ukraine, supporting victims of the war.
“The steps today will secure the future of this important cultural asset and protect fans and the wider football community. We have been in discussions with relevant international partners for necessary licenses required and we thank them for all their cooperation.”
Boehly’s group, who won the bidding for the club in April, agreed to buy Chelsea from Abramovich for £4.25 billion in early May.Chelsea had indicated that the group will pay £2.5 billion for shares in the club and that the proceeds will be going to a frozen bank account to be donated to charity.
Chelsea previously stated the Boehly group will pay £2.5 billion for shares in the club, with proceeds going to a frozen bank account to be donated to charity.
The sanctions make it so that Abramovich, referred to as a “pro-Kremlin oligarch” by the government, can’t receive any money from the sale of the team. Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003 and brought in an era of success. The Blues, as they are called, won the UEFA Champions League last year, which is the biggest football trophy in Europe.
It is hoped that Boehly’s ownership will see the London-based club to even more success. Boehly has attended several Chelsea games since agreeing to buy the club. While he is the face, conservative government adviser Daniel Finkelstein, Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss and British property developer Jonathan Goldstein will own the majority of the shares in the club, as will Californian private equity firm Clearlake Capital.
Boehly’s consortium was chosen as the preferred bidder by Raine Group, the bank tasked with facilitating the sale. Boston Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca, Sir Martin Broughton and the Ricketts family, who own the Chicago Cubs, were also among bidders.
British billionaire Sir. Jim Ratcliffe threw in a last-minute offer, though he wasn’t shortlisted by Raine. He was unsuccessful in the end.
The Premier League, in which Chelsea competes domestically, also approved the takeover this week, releasing a statement on Tuesday confirming as much following the consortium passing the Owners’ and Directors’ Test.
Their approval was pending the government issuing a sale license, which has since been granted, as noted above.
“The Premier League Board has today approved the proposed takeover of Chelsea Football Club by the Todd Boehly/Clearlake Consortium,” the governing body stated.
“The purchase remains subject to the government issuing the required sale license and the satisfactory completion of the final stages of the transaction.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea finished third in the Premier League season that ended on Sunday, qualifying for next season’s Champions League after going out to Real Madrid in the tournament’s quarter-final. They were beaten by Liverpool in the finals of both the FA Cup and Carabao Cup but did win the European Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup earlier in the season.