Todd Boehly consortium’s £4.25 bid accepted, set to take over Chelsea

Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor, Abuja

Todd Boehly consortium has emerged as the successful bidder to take over Chelsea football club from Russian Israeli billionaire, Roman Abramovich, after edging out Pagliuca consortium, Broughton consortium, and others with its £4.25b bid accepted.

Following the series of criticism by the UK Parliament over Abramovich’s link with Vladimir Putin, the Chelsea CEO had to put the club for sale on March 2, 2022.

The move by the Russian billionaire did not augur well with the UK government who went ahead to sanction Abramovich on March 10 and froze all his assets in the UK including the West London club.

Doing that, the club was restrained in so many ways but the UK government had to issue an operational licence to the club to allow them to feature in all competitions until May 31.

Abramovich contracted Raine Group to oversee the sale and the UK government proficiently monitor the bidding process to ensure he does not benefit from sales including the £1.5b the club owes him.

Going by the disposition of the UK government and to assure the global community he empathises with the war-torn Ukrainians, Abramovich insisted that the proceeds from the sale will be donated to the charity foundation.

Contrary to Abramovich’s claim, a recent report alleged that the Russian billionaire is covertly plotting to reclaim the £1.5b he loaned Chelsea which he has refuted in a statement released by his spokesperson, according to a Sky Sports report.

The statement read: “Firstly, Mr. Abramovich’s intentions in relation to gifting the proceeds from the Chelsea sale to charity have not changed.

“Since the initial announcement, Mr. Abramovich’s team has identified senior representatives from UN bodies and large global charitable organizations who have been tasked with forming a Foundation and setting out a plan for its activities. The lead independent expert has had conversations with Government representatives presenting the structure and initial plans.

“Mr. Abramovich has not been involved in this work and it has been managed independently by experts with years of experience working in humanitarian organizations.

“Secondly, Mr. Abramovich has not asked for any loan to be repaid to him such suggestions are entirely false – as are suggestions that Mr. Abramovich increased the price of the Club last minute. As part of Mr. Abramovich’s objective to find a good custodian for Chelsea FC, he has however encouraged each bidder throughout this process to commit to investing in the Club – including in the Academy, Women’s team, necessary redevelopment of the stadium as well as maintaining the work of Chelsea Foundation.”

“Following sanctions and other restrictions imposed on Mr. Abramovich by the UK since announcing that the Club would be sold, the loan has also become subject to EU sanctions, requiring additional approvals.

“That means that the funds will be frozen and subject to a legal procedure governed by authorities. These funds are still earmarked for the Foundation. The Government are aware of these restrictions as well as the legal implications.

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“To be clear, Mr. Abramovich has no access or control of these funds and will not have any access or control of these funds following the sale. Despite the changing circumstances since his initial announcement – he remains committed to finding a good custodian for Chelsea FC and making sure the proceeds go to good causes,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the operational licence issued by the UK government to Chelsea expires on the 31 while the fixtures for the next season’s campaign take place on June 8, 2022.

Sequel to this development, Chelsea will have to be sold on or before the licence expiration date for the club to be eligible to feature in the next footballing season.

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