A consortium comprising of Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly, plus billionaires Mark Walter and Hansjorg Wyss as well as investment company Clearlake Capital, have agreed a $5bn deal to purchase Premier League soccer giants Chelsea Football Club.
The deal to purchase the team has been a lengthy and protracted one ever since former owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the British Government due to his ties with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
Abramovich agreed to sell off his interest in the club to a potential buyer, but in the meantime, Chelsea have not been allowed to negotiate contracts with players (leading to at least two signing deals with other teams), make bids for players or even sell merchandise or tickets to fans for home games.
A number of parties had been interested in purchasing the club, but any deal was delayed by confusion over whether Mr Abramovich had asked for a repayment of a £1.5bn loan he had made to the club.
Abramovich has since clarified that this is not the case allowing for Mr Boehly and his team to push the deal over the line.
Not Yet Complete
However, before Mr Boehly can call himself a part owner of Chelsea Football Club, he
needs to be approved as an owner by both the British Government and also the Premier League.
The league have a test for prospective owners and directors to ensure that they are fit and proper to run a Premier League club and Mr Boehly and his team will need to pass that before the deal can be confirmed.
The British Government has stated that the takeover, when completed will see around $3bn of the cash deposited into a holding account to be distributed to charitable causes.
The remaining funds will be used by the new owners to improve aspects of the club.
Should all things go to plan, then the takeover should be completed in late May.
The move would see Mr Boehly expand his interest in sporting franchises still further. He already owns part of the Los Angeles Dodgers, as well as basketball teams the Los Angeles Sparks and Los Angeles Lakers.
Successful Teams In Premier League
Purchased by Roman Abramovich in 2003, Chelsea became one of the biggest spending teams in Premier League history, spending £2.1 billion on transfers in the 19 years Abramovich ran the club.
In that time, Chelsea won 21 trophies, including 5 Premier League titles and 2 Champions League victories and cemented themselves as one of the top teams in England and Europe.
It will mean Chelsea will become the ninth Premier League team to be owned by an American individual, business or consortium.
The Glazer family own Manchester United, as well as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while John W.Henry’s Fenway Sports Group own title challengers Liverpool.
Arsenal are owned wholly by Stan Kroenke, who also owns the Super Bowl winners the Los Angeles Rams, NBA team the Denver Nuggets, NHL Team the Colorado Avalanche and MLS Team the Colorado Rapids.
Other teams either wholly or part owned by Americans or American businesses include Aston Villa, Burnley, Crystal Palace, Leeds United and West Ham United.
With interest in the Premier League now spiking in the United States and with another World Cup Finals on the horizon in 2026, it is little wonder that so many big investors from the United States are looking to break into the most lucrative soccer league in the world today.
FEATURED IMAGE – A logo is pictured on a sign ahead of the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge in London on May 7, 2022. – Chelsea confirmed on Saturday that a consortium led by LA Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly has won the battle to buy the Premier League club in a £4.25 billion ($5.2 billion) deal. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)