Roman Abramovich completes $3.2 billion sale of Chelsea
By AP Today, 8:50 pm
American businessman Todd Boehly applauds during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Wolverhampton at Stamford Bridge stadium, in London, May 7, 2022. (AP Photo/ Frank Augstein, File)
The fast-tracked purchase of English soccer club Chelsea for 2.5 billion pounds ($3.2 billion) — the highest price ever paid for a sports team — was completed today by a consortium fronted by Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly.
It marks the end of the trophy-filled, 19-year tenure of Roman Abramovich, the Russian oligarch who was forced to sell the club in March, after being sanctioned by the British government for what it called his enabling of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “brutal and barbaric invasion” of Ukraine.
The government says the proceeds of the sale will be used for humanitarian purposes in Ukraine.
“We are honored to become the new custodians of Chelsea Football Club,” says Boehly, who attended some of the team’s games in recent weeks. “We’re all in — 100 percent — every minute of every match.”
Chelsea has been operating under a government license since Abramovich’s assets were frozen in March. The Boehly and Clearlake Capital consortium was one of around 250 initial proposed buyers, the club says, and that was narrowed down to 12 credible bids, and then a shortlist of three final bidders.
- The British government approved the sale last week after ensuring that Abramovich could not profit from it. The proceeds will be transferred to a frozen account and then used “to support the relief and rebuilding effort in Ukraine as soon as possible,” the government says.