In a short, 52-word statement released via their official website on Saturday morning, the Blues said they expected the record-breaking £4.25billion sale that will end Roman Abramovich’s highly-successful 19-year stewardship at Stamford Bridge to be fully completed on Monday (May 30), ahead of the deadline set by the Government.
“Chelsea Football Club can confirm that a final and definitive agreement was entered into last night to sell the Club to the Todd Boehly/Clearlake Capital consortium. It is expected that the transaction will be completed on Monday,” Chelsea said. “The Club will update further at that time.”
American businessman Boehly is now set to become Chelsea’s controlling owner, supported by the likes of fellow LA Dodgers co-owner Mark Walter, Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss, Conservative peer Daniel Finkelstein, music PR guru Barbara Charone and Behdad Eghbali, co-founder of California investment giants Clearlake.
British property developer Jonathan Goldstein is also set to continue to play a prominent role despite not being named as part of the board, while transfer chief Marina Granovskaia and chairman Bruce Buck are also expected to remain in their roles.
Earlier this week, the sale of Chelsea was green-lighted by the Premier League, who confirmed that Boehly’s consortium had passed the necessary owners’ and directors’ tests.
That was followed after weeks of tense negotiations by approval from the UK Government, who wanted to ensure that Abramovich does not benefit in any way from the proceeds of the deal and that the funds instead are placed into a frozen UK bank account and then distributed to humanitarian causes in Ukraine, supporting victims of the war.
The final hurdle to the takeover was then cleared on Thursday after official ratification from the Government of Portugal, where Abramovich holds a passport.
Chelsea won 21 major trophies during Abramovich’s tenure that changed the face of football forever, though he had to put the club up for sale following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine after being sanctioned for his alleged links to president Vladimir Putin, with the Blues granted a special license by the Government to continue operating.
Boehly’s consortium were chosen from hundreds of prospective buyers by US merchant bank Raine Group to make the final shortlist of bidders, then seeing off competition from consortiums led by Boston Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca, former Liverpool chairman Sir Martin Broughton and the Ricketts family, who pulled out of negotiations before final offers were made. They also withstood a late move to buy the club from Ineos founder Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
Boehly now faces a crucial first summer at Chelsea, where he is expected to produce a transfer war chest of around £200million to help manager Thomas Tuchel with a rebuild aimed at closing the gap to champions Manchester City and Liverpool.
Boehly is expected to spend much of the summer in the UK to personally oversee that recruitment drive having watched several games in person towards the end of the season, with Sevilla’s French centre-back Jules Kounde set to become the first signing of his tenure in a deal worth £68m.
Tuchel is also interested in other defenders such as Josko Gvardiol from RB Leipzig, Villarreal’s Pau Torres and Jose Gimenez from Atletico Madrid as he bids to replace Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger, who will both the leave the club on free transfers when their respective contracts expire next month.
Chelsea are also keen on Leipzig forward Christopher Nkunku and Bundesliga goal machine Robert Lewandowski, who is set to depart Bayern Munich.
In the transfer market, Boehly will look to follow the analytics-led model deployed by the LA Dodgers baseball team and could seek to install a figure similar to Dodgers mastermind and president of baseball operations, Andrew Friedman.