Chelsea FC, one of the most famous names in English soccer, will soon change owners. The club has agreed to a deal that will see it purchased by a consortium of major investors.
Chelsea FC to Change Owners
The consortium is led by Todd Boehly, an influential US billionaire who is known as one of the biggest DraftKings investors. Boehly and the rest of the investors will put forward $5.2 billion for the Chelsea acquisition. The deal will see Clearlake Capital, an equity firm from California, acquire the majority of the soccer club.
According to the deal, the consortium will pay $3 billion for acquiring Chelsea FC’s club shares. The remaining money will go to the Chelsea Foundation, Chelsea’s home stadium, its women’s team and its youth academy. None of the money will find their way into the wallet of Roman Abramovich, the current owner of the soccer club.
As a Russian oligarch, Abramovich will not benefit from the deal because of the West’s sanctions against Russia. As Europe and the United States stand in condemnation against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the UK vowed to freeze Abramovich’s assets. Because of this, Chelsea is also unable to operate, change team members and sell tickets and merchandise. This will change if the team successfully changes owners.
While Abramovich was quick to put Chelsea on the market, he will not be able to receive any money from the sale. Instead, the money will go to a bank account owned by the British government, which will use them to fund various charities.
The Deal Must be Closed Quickly
As of now, Chelsea FC continues to operate under a special license. However, the latter will expire on May 31. Furthermore, the English Premier League begins on June 8. With these dates in mind, it is crucial for Chelsea to close the deal in time, lest it misses out on the league.
The parties involved hope to close the agreement by the end of this month. Otherwise, the next season of the Premier League will start without one of the best soccer teams in Europe.
Analysts are optimistic about the sale finishing on time as they believe the league will quickly approve the agreement. Their argument is that a consortium led by Saudi Arabia’s public investment fund recently acquired Newcastle United. Many football fans were unhappy with the latter deal as Saudi Arabia often violates human rights.