Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich and the English club Chelsea found a buyer: the consortium led by American Todd Boehly, co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball club, made an offer for about 5.2 billion dollars (R$ 26 billion), an unprecedented amount in football club transactions. .
“Chelsea FC can confirm that terms have been agreed” for “a new ownership group, led by Todd Boehly”, to acquire the club for around £4.25bn, according to a statement.
“The sale is expected to be completed by the end of May, subject to all necessary regulatory approvals,” the London club added.
The sale will end 19 years of the Abramovich era near the Kremlin, who bought the club for £140m and, with a checkbook, led the London club to five league titles. Premier League it’s two Champions League (2012, 2021).
The mogul put Chelsea up for sale in March, shortly after he was sanctioned by the British government after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, insisting that he would not claim repayment of the loans taken out by the club in those 19 years and that all the proceeds from the operation would go to the war victims.
After a long negotiation process with several groups, Boehly and his partners were chosen by the Raine group, the New York bank responsible for the sale process.
In addition to Boehly, the group includes Dodger co-owner Mark Walter, Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss and US investment firm Clearlake Capital.
“Of the total investment made, £2.5bn (US$3bn) will be used to purchase the club’s shares and said proceeds will be deposited into a frozen British bank account with the intention of donating 100% to charitable causes such as confirmed Roman Abramovich,” Chelsea said.
“British government approval will be required to transfer these funds from the UK’s frozen bank account,” he added.
In addition, the new owners commit to an investment of 1.7 billion pounds (about 10.6 billion reais) for the benefit of the club.
The official purchase of Chelsea represents a relief for the English club.
Hoping their future would be clarified, the London club was forced to operate on a special government license after Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK and European Union for his ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The situation has raised fears about the club’s future if it is not sold by 31 May, when the British government’s special license expires.
Under its terms, Chelsea could not extend contracts to its current players or make new signings.
These extra-sporting problems seem to have had an impact on the field. The club was eliminated in the quarter-finals of the Champions League against Real Madrid and suffered unexpected setbacks in the Premier League, where they have yet to secure their place in the top four.
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