Abramovich completes sale of Chelsea to Boehly-Clearlake consortium

Soccer Football – Premier League – Chelsea v Watford – Stamford Bridge, London, Britain – May 22, 2022 General view inside the stadium before the match Action Images via Reuters/Tony Obrien

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  • Completion follows final agreement reached on Saturday
  • The club is no longer subject to sanctions against Abramovich
  • Sports minister says sale is ‘a big relief’ for fans

LONDON, May 30 (Reuters) – Roman Abramovich has completed the sale of Chelsea and related companies to an investment group led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital, the Premier League club announced on Monday, ending a three-year process months to sell the club.

The consortium, which won the London side’s takeover bid earlier this month, received approval from the Premier League and the UK government last week for the sale to proceed. A final agreement was reached on Saturday. Read more

Russian owner Abramovich put the club up for sale in early March following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow describes as a “special military operation”. Sanctions against Abramovich had also complicated the sale process.

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“In selling the club, Mr Abramovich stipulated that the new owner should be a good steward of the club, that the net proceeds of the sale should be donated to charity and that he would not seek repayment of loans made to affiliates of the club. club,” Chelsea said in a statement.

The sale also needed the green light from the Portuguese government after Abramovich became a citizen of the country last year and is also under European Union sanctions. Read more

The Portuguese government issued a humanitarian waiver last week based on the UK government’s guarantee that proceeds from the sale would not benefit Abramovich.

“The club is now no longer subject to the sanctions imposed on Roman Abramovich, an individual who enabled the brutal and barbaric invasion of Ukraine by (Russian President Vladimir) Putin,” a UK government spokesman said. .

“Chelsea’s long-term future is now secure and binding undertakings have been received which ensure those sanctioned cannot benefit financially from the sale. The government retains control to ensure this is the case.”

Abramovich denied having close ties to Putin.

‘GREAT RELIEF’

UK Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said on Twitter that completing the sale would be a “huge relief” for Chelsea fans.

Chelsea had been operating under a special license issued by the UK government since Abramovich’s assets were frozen in March and it was due to expire on May 31.

Chelsea said they had received more than 250 inquiries from proposed buyers, adding that 32 confidentiality agreements had been reached with interested parties.

The club eventually received 12 credible offers which were narrowed down to four before the Boehly-Clearlake consortium was chosen as the preferred bidder. The consortium also includes Swiss business tycoon Hansjoerg Wyss and Mark Walter.

Abramovich bought the club in 2003 for £140 million ($177.21 million) with his investment resulting in the most successful era in their history as they won five Premier League titles, five FA Cups and the Champions League twice.

‘WE ARE ALL IN’

The west London club said Boehly and Clearlake would share joint control and equal governance of the club. Boehly, who is co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, will serve as chairman of the holding company.

“We’re honored to be Chelsea Football Club’s new goalkeepers. We’re all in it — 100 per cent — every minute of every game,” Boehly said.

“Our vision as owners is clear: we want to make the fans proud. Alongside our commitment to developing the youth team and acquiring the best talent, our action plan is to invest in the club for the long term. and build on Chelsea’s remarkable history of success.

“I personally want to thank ministers and officials across the UK government and the Premier League for all their work to make this happen.”

The completion of the sale allows Chelsea to renew transfer activity and extend contracts with its players, which was prohibited under the sanctions imposed.

Chelsea finished third in the Premier League season which has just ended. They lost to Liverpool on penalties in the FA Cup and League Cup finals and were knocked out of the Champions League in the quarter-finals by eventual champions Real Madrid.

($1 = 0.7900 pounds)

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Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Alistair Smout in London; Editing by David Goodman/Christian Radnedge/Ken Ferris

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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