The sale of Chelsea Football Club to a consortium including LA Dodgers’ co-owner Todd Boehly and private equity firm Clearlake Capital has been completed, the club has announced.
It marks an end to Roman Abramovich’s 19-year tenure as the owner of the club following the UK government’s decision to sanction him over what they claim are links to Russian president Vladmir Putin amid the invasion of Ukraine.
Chelsea say they received 12 credible bids for the club following more than 250 enquiries before Boehly’s consortium was selected as the preferred bidder by merchant bank Raine Group, which oversaw the sale process.
“The group led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital rose above the other groups through the strength of the partnership between the group’s component parts, which includes Mark Walter, co-founder and CEO of Guggenheim Capital; and Hansjörg Wyss, founder of the Wyss Foundation,” Chelsea said in a statement.
“Todd and Mark’s participation in the ownership of several sports franchises with sustained winning traditions, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Los Angeles Sparks; a belief by the board that this group could help the club resolve certain current challenges and could assist in creating new opportunities, and help the club reach its long-term strategic objectives.
“We believe the Board and the Boehly/Clearlake group have a shared vision for the future of Chelsea Football Club.”
Chelsea also added that the Boehly consortium have agreed to binding financial commitments which include “investments in the academy and women’s team, the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge and the Chelsea Foundation”.
The change in ownership will spell an end to Chelsea’s period of operating under a special licence granted by the government following the sanctioning of Abramovich which placed financial restrictions on the club such as not being able to sell any merchandise.
Sanctions placed on Abramovich mean he will be unable to benefit financially from the sale of the club.
In a statement last week, Abramovich said: “I am pleased this search has now come to a successful conclusion. As I hand over Chelsea to its new custodians, I would like to wish them the best of success, both on and off the pitch.
“It has been an honour of a lifetime to be a part of this club. I would like to thank all the club’s past and current players, staff, and of course fans for these incredible years.”