In March, it became known about the plans of Roman Abramovich to sell Chelsea. Shortly thereafter, the businessman was sanctioned. He had no choice but to really sell the club.
Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003 for £140m. So far, the businessman has invested more than 1.5 billion euros from personal funds in the club. During this time, the “blue” became the champions of England 5 times, and also won the Champions League and the Europa League 2 times each.
There were many who wanted to buy Chelsea. The London club has been bid by a consortium led by investor Todd Boely; a consortium of Atalanta and Boston Celtics co-owner Stephen Palyuki; a consortium of former British Airways CEO Martin Broughton; the Rickett family, who own the Chicago Cubs baseball club; Nice owner Jim Ratcliffe. The applications of the last two applicants were rejected. Among the remaining winners was the Boeli consortium, which was confirmed by Chelsea.
The deal must be approved by the football authorities in England and the British government. But this shouldn’t be a problem. Everything is expected to be settled by the end of May. The Boeli consortium will pay £4.2bn ($5.2bn). This is the most expensive deal in the history of club sports.
More than half of this amount, namely 2.5 billion pounds, will be paid for the club’s shares. The money will go to Abramovich’s “frozen” account, which is now controlled by the British government, and from there to charity. It is likely that this money will be sent to Ukraine through the UN. The remaining £1.75bn is an investment in the club promised by the new owners, including its stadium, women’s team and academy.
The question of Stamford Bridge stands apart. Chelsea has one of the smallest stadiums among the Big 6 clubs, so expansion is one of the biggest challenges for the new management.
In light of recent events, Boely is now one of the most talked about people in England. In the US, Todd is better known than in Europe. He is the co-founder and president of Eldridge Industries, an investment company that invests in a variety of industries.
Boely has connections with Britain, since in the mid-90s he studied at the London School of Economics, and then worked in the capital’s Citibank. Now Todd is a major investor. At the same time, the American invests money not only in commercial projects, but also in charity.
Boeli is directly associated with American sports. He owns a 27% stake in the Los Angeles Lakers basketball club and a 20% stake in the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball club. For several years now, the businessman has been wanting to try his hand at European football.
Boeli has been eyeing Chelsea for a long time. In 2019, he already tried to acquire the London club and offered $ 3 billion for it. Abramovich then rejected this offer.
Boeli will be the new face of Chelsea, but not the sole owner. Todd’s partners will be Swiss billionaire Hansoerg Wyss, Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Mark Walter and real estate entrepreneur Jonathan Goldstein.
This group has good economic and political connections. But at the same time, they will not be the main actors behind the scenes. Behdad Egbali, co-founder of investment firm Clearlake Capital, is expected to have the most influence in the new Chelsea leadership. His company finances at least 66% of the deal to acquire the London club.
The reason the Blues offer has attracted so many big names is that such a valuable asset doesn’t come to market very often, and Premier League clubs are increasingly difficult to buy even for the richest people in the world. The fact that Chelsea are based in London has made it even more attractive to investors. Many of them believe that under Abramovich, the Blues did not use their commercial potential as effectively as other clubs in the Big Six of the Premier League.
One of the most pressing questions after the change of ownership of Chelsea was the future of head coach Thomas Tuchel. But it seems that the German will not be separated from the team. Moreover, according to the latest news, the specialist will receive material assistance from the new management to strengthen the squad. The Blues need to sign replacements for Antonio Ruediger and Andreas Christensen. The positions of full-backs are also problematic, since there is no equivalent replacement for the main players.
The new management will need to work hard on personnel issues together with the coach. One of the main questions is the future of Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian is having a shabby season, which is why there are more and more rumors about his possible departure. On the other hand, just a year ago, more than 100 million euros were paid for it.
However, it will be necessary to resolve issues with Thiago Silva, Jorginho and N’Golo Kante, whose contracts are calculated until the summer of 2023. All in all, Boeli and his companions have a lot of work to do, both inside and outside the club. But with the right approach and taking into account how much money was invested in buying the Blues, everything should work out for the new owners.