Roman Abramovich has struck a deal with the UK government which will push through Todd Boehly’s takeover of the club and finally bring an end to his ownership of Chelsea.
The Russian billionaire and his legal team have reportedly found a resolution to the issues that had prevented the takeover from being finalised. As reported by the PA News Agency, the two parties have now struck an agreement over how his £1.5bn debt will be handled.
Abramovich has repeatedly stated he does not wish to have the loan repaid to him, but Government officials were apparently worried that the 55-year-old would perform a U-turn at a later date and call for the money to be repaid. However, the exiled Chelsea owner, who was sanctioned by the government in response to Russia ’s invasion of Ukraine in February, has now provided further assurances to Downing Street that he will not return to collect the loan.
It is regarded as a significant development for Chelsea, with valid concerns that Todd Boehly’s £4.25bn takeover would collapse before the club’s operating licence expires on May 31. But now the path appears to be clear for the American to complete his purchase of the Blues, with the Premier League set to approve to deal.
Eldridge Industries founder and Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Boehly will become the controlling owner once the takeover is concluded after signing an agreement to purchase the club on May 7.
The American businessman will hold the most influence in the consortium, with Clearlake Capital co-founder Behdad Eghbali expected to work closely alongside him and playing an active role in making financial decisions.
As with any takeover, the Premier League must give a final sign-off on Boehly’s consortium through its owners and directors test, before the Government issues a new licence to allow the sale to complete.
Government approval for the sale should also give the green light for Abramovich’s plan for the sale’s proceeds to be donated to a new charitable foundation.