The Premier League’s board of directors has authorised Todd Boehly’s consortium’s £4.25b takeover of Chelsea after all potential board members passed the league’s owners’ and directors’ test.
The UK government, which must provide a sale licence, must still approve the club’s purchase from Roman Abramovich. The government wants assurances that none of the proceeds will go to Abramovich, who was sanctioned following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
There is growing confidence that Abramovich will agree to legally binding guarantees that will allow the money to be frozen and placed under government control. Chelsea’s special operating licence expires on May 31st, and the sale is expected to be completed this week.
“The Premier League board has today authorised the proposed takeover of Chelsea Football Club by the Todd Boehly/Clearlake group,” the league said in a statement.
“The purchase remains subject to the government issuing the required sale licence and the satisfactory completion of the final stages of the transaction.
“The board has applied the Premier League’s owners’ and directors’ test to all prospective directors, and undertaken the necessary due diligence.
“The members of the consortium purchasing the club are affiliates of the Clearlake Capital Group, L.P., Todd Boehly, Hansjörg Wyss and Mark Walter. Chelsea FC will now work with the relevant governments to secure the necessary licences to complete the takeover.”
Boehly and Walter are part-owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers, while Wyss is a businessman from Switzerland. Clearlake Capital, a US investment group, will own a majority stake in Chelsea, but Boehly will retain control.
The government has proposed a two-stage process in which the proceeds from the sale would be placed in an escrow account and held until it is satisfied that the funds would be distributed to victims of Ukraine’s war.