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Chelsea agree sale with Boehly-led team

·2-min read

Premier League club Chelsea is being sold to a consortium fronted by Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly, ending 19 years of ownership and lavish investment by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.

The deal, reported to be worth 4.25 billion pounds ($A7.43 billion), comes after Abramovich was sanctioned and forced to offload the club following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"Chelsea Football Club can confirm that terms have been agreed for a new ownership group, led by Todd Boehly, Clearlake Capital, Mark Walter and Hansjorg Wyss, to acquire the club," a Chelsea statement said.

Boehly, Clearlake Capital, Mark Walter and Hansjorg Wyss must now wait for Premier League and UK government approval before rubber-stamping the takeover.

Boehly is part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers MLB franchise and he also has minority stakes in the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers and WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks.

The challenge will be maintaining the expectation of regular trophies produced under the expensive transformation of Chelsea following Abramovich's buyout, which led to a 50-year English title drought ending.

Chelsea won 21 trophies in the 19 years of Abramovich's ownership which is ending abruptly after his assets were frozen as part of British government sanctions as part of a crackdown on wealthy Russians with ties to President Vladimir Putin.

Eldridge Industries chief executive Boehly was in London on Friday night and is expected to attend Chelsea's Premier League clash with Wolves at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Chelsea added in their statement: "Of the total investment being made, STG2.5 billion ($A4.3 billion) will be applied to purchase shares in the club, and such proceeds will be deposited into a frozen UK bank account with the intention to donate 100 per cent 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.

"In addition, the proposed new owners will commit STG1.75 billion ($A3 billion) in further investment for the benefit of the club.

"This includes investments in Stamford Bridge, the academy, the women's team and Kingsmeadow and continued funding for the Chelsea Foundation.

"The sale is expected to be complete in late May subject to all necessary regulatory approvals. More details will be provided at that time."

Boehly leads the consortium bid, but US investment firm Clearlake Capital investment is expected to hold the majority stake.

The Boehly consortium is understood to have agreed to clauses that block the payment of dividends or management fees until 2032, also barring the sale of any Chelsea shares for 10 years.

with PA

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