Chelsea FC have confirmed that the consortium led by American billionaire Todd Boehly bidding to take control of the West London club has signed an agreement to acquire it from Roman Abramovich for £4.25b.
The American billionaire, who is co-owner of baseball team LA Dodgers, has finalised terms to buy the club along with his partners Clearlake Capital, Mark Walter and Hansjorg Wyss. The deal has been revealed to be worth £4.25billion — a record amount for a sports franchise — after the west London club issued a statement in the early hours of Saturday morning.
It read: “Chelsea Football Club can confirm that terms have been agreed for a new ownership group, led by Todd Boehly, Clearlake Capital, Mark Walter and Hansjoerg Wyss, to acquire the Club.
“Of the total investment being made, £2.5bn will be applied to purchase the shares in the Club and such proceeds will be deposited into a frozen UK bank account with the intention to donate 100% to charitable causes as confirmed by Roman Abramovich. UK Government approval will be required for the proceeds to be transferred from the frozen UK bank account.”
There were concerns that exiled owner Abramovich, who was hit by sanctions from the UK government in late February due to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, would demand his £1.6bn investment in the club to be repaid in the form of a loan. But the Russian dismissed those concerns with a statement of his own earlier this week, insisting the money would go into a frozen account as planned and would not be touched by him.
As part of the agreement, Boehly’s group have agreed to invest a set amount of £1.75bn to ensure the continued development of the club. It is understood a large chunk of this fund will go towards redeveloping Stamford Bridge, with all prospective owners submitting plans to increase the capacity at the ground.