It’s the end of an era for the Chelsea club. Russian oligarch Roman and Chelsea have found a buyer for the London football club. : A group led by Todd Boehly, co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team, has made a whopping £4.25 billion bid to buy the Blues, the largest ever a sports club has been issued.
“Chelsea Club can confirm that terms have been agreed for a new group of owners led by Todd Boehly, Clearlake Capital, Mark Walter and Hansjoerg Wyss to take over,” Chelsea FC said in a brief press release issued late in the year. was published. the night from Friday to Saturday.
The sale was completed at the end of May
In addition to Todd Boehly, the group of investors includes Mark Walter, co-owner of the Dodgers, Swiss billionaire Hansjoerg Wyss, founder of the medical device manufacturing company Synthes, and the American investment company Clearlake Capital. †
The sale should be completed by the end of May.
“Of the total investment to be made, £2.5bn (€2.92bn) will be used to buy back the club’s shares and this amount will be deposited into a UK bank account frozen with the intention of to donate 100% to charity, as validated by Roman Abramovich,” the club said. The new owners have also pledged to invest a further £1.75 billion (2.04 billion euros) on behalf of the club, the statement said.
A breath of oxygen
This is the end of an era that began in 2003 with the arrival at the helm of Roman Abramovich, who had bought the “Blues” for 140 million pounds. Thanks to the financial windfall of the Russian oligarch, close to the Kremlin, Chelsea has attracted many stars and has become a major player at national and European level, notably winning five Premier League titles and two Champions Leagues (2012, 2021). Faced with sanctions from London, the 55-year-old Russian billionaire and jet-setter put the London club up for sale on March 2, insisting that he would not seek repayment of loans taken out by the club during his 19-year reign and that all profits from the operation would go to the war victims.
The formalization of the Chelsea takeover is a relief for the England team as the operation began to drag on. Because since their sale on March 2, the “Blues” evolve in the Premier League thanks to a special license that prevents the renewal of existing contracts and the recruitment of players. A license that expires on May 31.
After a long string of victories in the wake of the announcement of the next change of ownership, Chelsea have struggled sportingly in recent weeks, most notably with a elimination against Real Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, of which they are the title holder.
Three days before the end of the championship third in the Premier League, the club is nevertheless well on its way to finishing next season in the top quartet that gives access to the C1.
Sanctions hit Roman Abramovich
Roman Abramovich, one of Russia’s richest men on the ruins of the USSR, has been overtaken by his ties to the Kremlin and his assets have been frozen by British authorities since March.
The 55-year-old billionaire with a short white beard, a jet-setter who owns a huge 15-bedroom house in the swanky London borough of Kensington, is one of those businessmen who became rich at lightning speed in the 1990s after founding the market economy in Russia, which gains significant political influence.
As the largest shareholder in steelmaker Evraz, with a fortune estimated by Forbes at more than $13 billion, its UK operations have been a source of embarrassment to British authorities under pressure to cut off the flow of Russian money into the city, sometimes questionably. .
Born in Saratov in southern Russia on October 24, 1966, orphaned at a young age and raised by his uncle, the young Roman grew up partly in Russia’s Far North and studied mathematics in Moscow before going into business and founding SMEs.
He soon turns out to be a formidable businessman. In 1996, the government sold the majority of the shares of the huge oil group Sibneft for $100 million – a fraction of their real value. The securities will end up in Abramovich’s portfolio and he will sell them on to the public giant Gazprom for a gold price.
From oil to aluminum to the car, his fortune is growing rapidly. He, along with other businessmen, financed President Boris Yeltsin’s re-election campaign in 1996 and has his entrances to the Kremlin, where the oligarchs maintain close relations with the president’s entourage.
When Vladimir Putin succeeded Boris Yeltsin in 2000, he chose prudence and distanced himself from the former head of state’s entourage.
For example, he escapes the fate of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, an adversary in exile after years in prison, or his own business partner Boris Berezovsky, a fierce critic of power who was found dead at home in England in 2013.
His loyalty was rewarded with a governorship of the Chukotka region of Russia’s Far East. Once Russia’s first fortune, he is sometimes accused of acting like a Kremlin “submarine” in his financial operations.
An amateur of the round ball, Mr Abramovitch bought the flagship club from the British capital Chelsea in 2003. Since the arrival of the Russian, the CFC has had its best period, with five English league titles, two Champions Leagues and an FA Cup.
He leads a luxurious life, sheltered from the media, and owns a 160-meter yacht, Eclipse, so long that it cannot dock at the “quai des billionaires” of Antibes on the French Riviera. Sanctions allow for seizure. He would own half a dozen other yachts.
He is the father of seven children and divorced in 2017 from his partner Daria Joukova, who founded a contemporary art gallery in Moscow.
Concerned about his reputation, he received an apology in late 2021 from the publisher of a book on Vladimir Putin by British journalist Catherine Belton, alleging that the Russian president was overseeing a massive exodus of black money to increase his country’s influence in the country. abroad.