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SPORTS UPDATE

Todd Boehly completes £4.25bn Chelsea takeover

The Todd Boehly-led consortium have completed a £4.25bn takeover of Chelsea, ending Roman Abramovich’s 19-year ownership of the club.

After months of negotiations, the deal was finally approved on Wednesday morning when the government received legal guarantees that Roman Abramovich – who has had his UK assets frozen – would not benefit from the sale.

The proceeds from the sale will be frozen in a UK bank account until the government has received further assurances that the money will solely go to support humanitarian causes in Ukraine.

Russian-Israeli billionaire Abramovich put Chelsea, which he purchased in 2003, up for sale on March 2, a week after Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

The takeover ends his 19-year ownership of the club and will see Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Boehly become Chelsea’s controlling owner, even though California investment firm Clearlake Capital will assume the majority shareholding. It is reported the new owners plan to invest £1.75bn into the club, placing the overall takeover value at £4.25bn.

Since Abramovich was sanctioned, Chelsea have been unable to sell or sign players or offer new contracts but now the takeover is complete those restrictions will be lifted.

Mr Boehly’s bid would see voting rights shared equally between him and Clearlake Capital, a Californian private equity firm.

Clearlake, which has no direct ownership pedigree in major sports assets, would own a majority of the shares in Chelsea.

The group is being advised by Goldman Sachs and Robey Warshaw, where the former chancellor – and Chelsea fan – George Osborne, now works as a partner.

Boehly’s simple refusal to countenance any distractions has proved central to the Connecticut billionaire’s successful Chelsea takeover.

Some 85 days after Abramovich officially put the Blues up for sale, the Boehly consortium has finally fended off all challengers to take the Stamford Bridge helm.

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