Many Buyers are Bidding in Chelsea FC Sale
- The Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich, is being forced to sell the club after nearly 20 years due to Russia's ongoing conflicts.
- Russia’s invasion of Ukraine led to many Russian Oligarchs having their assets seized by the respective governments, including Abramovich.
- With Abramovich being forced to sell the club, below is a list of some of the respective groups of investors wishing to retain ownership of the football club.
After nearly 20 years of ownership, Chelsea owner and Russian Oligarch Roman Abramovich has announced that he will be selling the club. Abramovich repurchased Chelsea in 2003 and, since then, has seen his team blossom into a global powerhouse. However, due to current ongoing conflicts on the other side of the world, Abramovich was forced to sell the sports team. Raine Group, the intermediary, assigned with the sale of Chelsea, has been looking at offers from interested parties.
What Led to the Sale of Chelsea Football Club
On February 24, 2022, Vladimir Putin informed the Russian military to invade Ukraine in hopes of gaining control over their neighboring nation. However, the war in Ukraine was frowned upon by many countries worldwide, and as a result, countries, such as the United States, began sanctioning Russia in hopes of them retreating their troops.
However, as time went on, many realized that Russia would not back out of Ukraine and would continue to fight until they gained control of the country. Thus, countries against Russia’s actions began seizing the assets of Russian Oligarchs in their respective countries and imposing sanctions against them.
For Roman Abramovich, the U.K. Government imposed sanctions on him and his assets, including Chelsea. Furthermore, the British Government stated that the football club could not sell tickets for regular matches or merchandise. However, Chelsea fans who have season tickets are able to come to any game at Stamford Bridge for the remainder of the season.
As the British Government has cut off these two major revenue streams, they are trying to force Roman Abramovich to sell the club quickly. The reasoning behind Abramovich’s sanction was that he has a personal relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Therefore, due to the nature of their relationship, the British Government seemed it was fair that Abramovich would be affected by the sequence of events.
Potential Buyers in the Chelsea FC Sale
Roman Abramovich has put a three billion euro price tag on Chelsea, and as this sports team is one of the most popular worldwide, many people are eager to buy the football club. Below is a list of some people who have or are looking to place an official bid for the team.
Todd Boehly & Co.
The first batch of buyers is led by Todd Boehly, a part-owner of the LA Dodgers, Lakers, and Sparks. One of his accompanying buyers is the former British Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne. Boehly has previous experience with sports teams but is now considering using his private equity funds for a major overseas acquisition.
Steve Pagliuca & Co.
Steve Pagliuca, a co-owner of the Boston Celtics, has teamed up with Larry Tanenbaum, the chairman of a company that is an owner of the Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. Due to their experience with domestic sports teams, they have also chosen to try their luck and attempt to purchase an international team.
Sir Martin Broughton & Co.
Lastly, Sir Martin Broughton has partnered with Josh Harris and David Blitzer, owners of the Philadelphia 76ers, the New Jersey Devils, and Premier League club Crystal Palace. As they are currently involved with another Premier League Team, they are liquidating their position to potentially receive ownership of Chelsea.
Furthermore, athletes such as tennis icon Serena Williams and Formula 1 superstar Lewis Hamilton have joined Sir Martin in the pursuit of owning Chelsea.
Update on the Chelsea FC Sale
On May 30, 2022, the British government accepted Todd Boehly & Co.’s bid to buy Chelsea for 2.5 million pounds ($3.2 million). The funds received from this transaction will be transferred to a frozen account, after which they will be used to aid the rebuilding of Ukraine as soon as possible.
The British government purposefully put the money into a frozen account to ensure Roman Abramovich could not profit from the sale of the club and use the money for other personal business ventures.
Although Chelsea’s owners have changed, Abramovich was an owner who truly cared about the sport, which is why the club experienced continued success during his tenure. Unfortunately, many investors look at their sports team acquisitions as a business but have no love for the sport. Therefore, if Todd Boehly & Co. wishes their acquisition of Chelsea to be a profitable venture, they must have the same level of ambition as Abramovich to spend the necessary resources when needed.
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