Todd Boehly to become controlling owner of Chelsea when sale of club completes
Todd Boehly will become Chelsea’s controlling owner when the US magnate’s consortium completes the £4.25billion Stamford Bridge club purchase, the PA news agency understands.
Eldridge Industries founder and Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Boehly will hold the most influence in the consortium that will buy Chelsea from Roman Abramovich.
Clearlake Capital co-founder Behdad Eghbali will work closely with Boehly and will be understood to take an active role in major financial decisions.
California-based Clearlake is expected to take on the majority shareholding in the Boehly consortium.
Clearlake’s bosses have thrown their weight behind Boehly as the consortium chief despite the investment firm’s shareholding however.
That confidence in Boehly taking the controlling ownership role is understood to represent a major expression of faith in the prospective new Chelsea owner’s judgement.
Boehly and Eghbali enjoy a close and robust working relationship, upon which the entire bid has been built.
Boehly’s fellow Dodgers co-owner Mark Walter and Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss will assume more supportive roles in the new Chelsea ownership structure.
Jonathan Goldstein is also understood to have played a central role in the Boehly consortium’s success in the race to buy Chelsea.
The British property investor is Boehly’s long-term business partner and – while the Cain International chief executive is not expected to take a formal role on Chelsea’s board – he will retain an influential role in the incoming set-up.
Chairman Bruce Buck and director Marina Granovskaia should retain their roles once the Chelsea takeover is completed, with the sale remaining on course to be wrapped up ahead of the May 31 deadline.
Only Premier League and Government approval now stand between Boehly’s consortium and owning Chelsea.
Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale on March 2 amid Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine.
The 55-year-old was then sanctioned by the UK Government on March 10, with Downing Street claiming to have proven the Russian-Israeli billionaire’s links to Vladimir Putin.
Boehly has won the race to buy the Stamford Bridge club for a record sports-club fee, having beaten Sir Martin Broughton and Steve Pagliuca to strike their deal.
The Ricketts family-led bid had put together a compelling submission, only for late internal differences over their consortium’s composition to lead to the Chicago Cubs owners withdrawing their candidacy.
Britain’s richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s last-minute bid that was submitted outside of the formal process was considered, but ultimately rejected by the Raine Group, the New York bank handling the sale process.
The path now remains clear for Boehly and his winning consortium to complete Chelsea’s sale well in advance of the May 31 deadline, when the Blues’ temporary licence expires.
Boehly could even wrap up the deal to take charge before the end of the season, with Chelsea hosting Watford on May 22 to close their Premier League campaign.
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel revealed he has no plans yet to meet incoming owner Boehly.
The German coach admitted hoping for a swift resolution, especially with the Blues’ transfer ambitions halted by the terms of the temporary operating licence.
Chelsea will be able to return to business as usual once the sale is complete, but for now Tuchel cannot make any headway in the transfer market.
Asked if he has any clarity on the summer transfer situation yet, Tuchel replied: “In the moment not. But there are positive steps forward.
“It feels like it will come to an end and give us possibilities to act but at this very moment it is not like this.
“We are the only club in the moment that suffers like this, maybe the first club that ever did this.
“It is a situation that is unique and a situation that is quite challenging. Of course, everybody hopes for the situation to be clarified.
“These are steps in the right direction. We are waiting for it since a long time.
“We need the positive energy and competitive atmosphere at the club. It is very important for things to progress.”
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