Chelsea takeover ‘close to completion’

Todd Boehly's consortium is said to be on the cusp of assuming control of the Premier League giants
Chelsea takeover ‘close to completion’

Todd Boehly and his consortium's takeover of English football giants Chelsea is "very close to completion," according to reports.

The Premier League outfit were put up for sale on March 2 by Roman Abramovich ahead of his assets being frozen by the UK government for alleged links to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

As Russia's military operation in Ukraine continues, a sale is still possible if overseen by the UK government and US merchant bank the Raine Group, which CBS claims has told them that LA Dodgers owner Boehly is close to expanding his portfolio to include the west Londoners.

Despite late drama caused by Sir Jim Ratcliffe's £4.25 billion ($5.3 billion) post-deadline bid, and Abramovich reportedly wanting his £1.6 billion ($2 billion) bid to be repaid, Boehly and his investment firm backers Clearlake have remained "calm" and "confident" they will own the club.

This comes not only from the Raine Group telling Ratcliffe's camp to "forget" his bid, but also Raine reportedly remarking to CBS that talks on Wednesday between the two camps were "highly productive" with "no alternative options" being explored.

Brit billionaire told to forget Chelsea ownership ambitions

Boehly and Clearlake are the preferred bidders and are currently in a five-day window of exclusivity to try and get a deal over the line.

They had initially presumed the purchase of Chelsea to be debt-free, but if the $2 billion Abramovich allegedly wishes to recover is frozen by the UK government, it could remain in limbo for the time being so that a sale can be completed before May 31 when Chelsea's special operating license expires.

This won't make the debt go away and leads to questions of how Abramovich will conduct himself if and when his sanctions are lifted.

But CBS says that Boehly and Clearlake were supposedly never prepared to engage or pay the debt linked to parent company Fordstam Ltd and intended to be handed over to a firm called Camberley International Investments based in Jersey.

According to Fordstam's latest accounts, Camberley International Investments Ltd "provides funding to Fordstam Ltd and its subsidiaries as required to enable the Group to continue as a going concern."

Chelsea sale hit by fears of Abramovich U-turn – media

Yet it remains unclear who owns Camberley, which was established in August 2020, and Boehly and Clearlake were unable to do any due diligence and be sure of who the money would go to if they did indeed pay off the debt.

A sale being finalized ahead of the deadline would put minds at rest at Stamford Bridge and allay fears that the club could go out of business and be expelled from the Premier League.

With just four games to run in the Premier League, Thomas Tuchel and his men could also focus on trying to gain qualification to the Champions League and a May 14 FA Cup final with Liverpool at Wembley without uncertainty clouding the club's future.

Boehly and his group reportedly see contract extensions for England internationals Mason Mount and Reece James as essential, with the youngsters attracting interest from European rivals.

While currently unable to buy or sell new players, or offer squad members fresh agreements to prolong their stays, Antonio Rudiger is believed to be on his way to Real Madrid while captain Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen could be bound for FC Barcelona.

With new owners in place, Tuchel could already plan for these potential losses and liaise with the new board on which replacements he fancies best.

Simultaneously, though, there are concerns from some that Boehly and Clearlake might not be prepared to spend the kind of money Abramovich routinely did to make Chelsea contenders on all fronts after assuming the reins in 2003.

Original Article