Football: Premier League approve Chelsea takeover

UpdatedMay 24, 2022, 8:54 p.m.

The English championship approved on Tuesday the takeover of the London club by the consortium of Todd Boehly, which includes Bernese billionaire Hansjörg Wyss.

Chelsea is about to turn a big page in its history, after almost 20 years under the aegis of Roman Abramovich.

AFP

The Premier League on Tuesday approved the takeover of Chelsea football club by the group led by American businessman Todd Boehly, the governing body said in a statement.

This consortium, which includes Bernese Hansjörg Wyss, made an offer of 4.25 billion pounds (5.11 billion francs) on May 7 to take over the London club, owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich since 2003.

The sale remains subject to the agreement of the British government, recalled the Premier League. Earlier on Tuesday, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the government was “working closely with the club” to complete the sale.

Benefits for victims of the war in Ukraine

In the turmoil after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Russian billionaire, targeted by London sanctions, had put the London club up for sale on March 2, insisting that he would not seek repayment of the loans taken out by the club, throughout its 19-year reign and that all profits from the operation would go to the victims of war.

After a long bidding process involving several groups, it was that of Mr. Boehly and his investor partners who was chosen by the New York bank Raine Group, which is overseeing the sale.

The group of investors is made up, in addition to Mr. Boehly, of Mark Walter, with whom he is co-owner of the Dodgers, the Los Angeles baseball franchise, of the Bernese billionaire Hansjörg Wyss, founder of the manufacturing company of medical equipment Synthes , and the American investment company Clearlake Capital.

Bought 140 million pounds

Abramovich had bought the “Blues” in 2003 for 140 million pounds (168.4 million francs). Thanks to the financial manna of the oligarch close to the Kremlin, Chelsea, until then a second knife of English football, suddenly transformed into a major player on the national and European level, accumulating in particular five titles in the Premier League and two Champions Leagues (2012, 2021).

This season, Chelsea finished third in the Premier League and qualified for the next Champions League. The club lost in the League Cup and FA Cup finals, both times against Liverpool.

(AFP)

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