Chelsea preferred bidder Todd Boehly, along with his associates, are expected to inject the extra £500million requested by owner Roman Abramovich in a restructured deal for the club, according to reports. It comes as the Blues head towards their third month of uncertainty on the ownership front.
The debacle started in March, when Roman Abramovich announced his intention to sell the club after 19-years at the helm. The 55-year-old was then sanctioned by the UK Government shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with his assets frozen and the club left to operate under a special sporting licence.
US Banking firm Raine were left in charge of overseeing any deal, with bids eventually slimmed down to the final three and now just the preferred bidder left, who has a period of exclusivity to get a deal over the line. That bidder has been named as Todd Boehly and his consortium.
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Since then, a number of twists and turns have occurred, with Sir Jim Ratcliffe making a late move for the club, only to be rejected by Raine. Abramovich then requested an extra £500million from any bid to go towards victims of the Ukraine war.
There were equally fears raised over a £1.6billion loan from the Russian to the club during his tenure, with his original statement being that those debts would be wiped away. Reports have since suggested that may not be the case, further jeopardising the deal.
However, in face of the extra initial £500million request, there appears to be a breakthrough. According to Sky News, Todd Boehly and his associates are set to inject that money to bridge the gap in the deal.
Boehly and his backers are expected to own 40 percent of the club in the changed offer, while Clearlake Capital, an American private equity firm, are expected to own 60 percent of the stakes. That is a reduction of six percent on their initial expected percentage, though voting rights are set to be split equally across the parties.
With the sporting licence agreed with the government set to expire at the end of the month, it is crucial that the club presses forward in finding their next owner. The culture secretary has already stated Chelsea are on “borrowed time” and they’ll be hoping it doesn’t go down to the wire.