Roman Abramovich’s $7.5 Billion Chelsea Sale Breaks Records and Gets Green Light

Billionaire Roman Abramovich’s bid to sell Chelsea has finally been given the green light, and the dazzling deal is making history.

Todd Boehly’s proposed takeover of Chelsea came one step closer to completion on Wednesday (AEST) when the Premier League board announced it had approved his purchase from the London club in a deal that could be finalized later in the day.

A consortium led by Boehly, co-owner of Los Angeles Dodgers baseball club, had already reached a record $7.5 billion contract on May 7 to buy the Premier League club from owner Roman Abramovich.

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And a statement from the Premier League said: “The Premier League board has today approved the proposed acquisition of Chelsea Football Club by the Todd Boehly/Clearlake Consortium.

“The purchase remains subject to the (UK) Government issuing the required sales authorization and the satisfactory completion of the final stages of the transaction.”

Officials are eager for everything to be completed on Wednesday so Chelsea can meet all registration deadlines for next season’s competitions, with an undisclosed British government source told the British Press Association: “We now believe everyone will be ready to finalize the necessary licenses to give.

“The last remaining hurdle comes down to some final technical details to be discussed with the club. It’s going to be a thread.”

Russian billionaire Abramovich marketed Chelsea in early March, just before he was sanctioned by the British government after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Closing the purchase has been a lengthy process due to government concerns about the potential for Abramovich to profit from the sale.

The total value of the deal breaks the previous record for sports team sales: $3.4 billion for the New York Mets baseball franchise in 2020.

There were fears the acquisition would fail due to the $2.8 billion debt owed by Chelsea’s parent company, Fordstam Ltd, to Camberley International Investments, a Jersey-based company with suspected links to Abramovich.

Abramovich, who has said he has not asked for a repayment of his loan, is said to have confirmed to the government that his associate, Demetris Ioannides, has resigned from the trust that owns Camberley International.

Earlier, a spokesman for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that the government was working with Chelsea and also had “intense discussions with the relevant international partners” to finalize the deal.

“We want to complete this process as soon as possible while ensuring that the sanctions regime is protected, but we will say more about this as soon as possible,” the spokesperson said.

The Premier League statement added: “The board has applied the Premier League’s Owners and Directors’ Test (OADT) to all prospective directors and has carried out the necessary due diligence.

“The members of the Consortium buying the club are affiliates of the Clearlake Capital Group, LP, Todd Boehly, Hansjorg Wyss and Mark Walter.

“Chelsea FC will now work with the relevant governments to obtain the necessary licenses to complete the acquisition.”

Chelsea have been forced to operate under a special license from the British government since Abramovich, who bought the club in 2003, was sanctioned.

Under the terms of the license, Chelsea were unable to offer new contracts to existing players or sign players from other clubs.

The sale of the European champions closes the curtain on 19 years of almost uninterrupted success under 55-year-old Abramovich, who has led five Premier League titles and two Champions League victories.

Chelsea finished third in the 2021/22 Premier League season that concluded on Monday, securing a place in Europe’s Champions League, the continent’s leading club football competition.

The Blues also reached the final of the League Cup and the FA Cup in English football, but lost both games to Liverpool in penalty shootouts.

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