Breathe a sigh of relief at Stamford Bridge, a whole new perspective for Thomas Tuchel and his expensive stars: A record deal worth billions gives Chelsea FC bright prospects again. After weeks of worrying, the top club from London has now agreed with a new investor on the inheritance of the previous club owner Roman Abramovich, the takeover of the Champions League winner is imminent.
If the British government and the Premier League agree to the takeover by the group of investors led by US billionaire Todd Boehly, who is well-known in the sports world, the fresh capital could flow as early as May. According to English media reports, the contract signed has a financial volume of 4.25 billion pounds (around 5 billion euros) – it is the highest sum that has ever been spent on a sports club.
“The sale is expected to be completed by the end of May, subject to obtaining all necessary regulatory approvals,” read a club statement released early Saturday morning. Three consortia had recently submitted offers, the choice fell on the group around Boehly, the very wealthy co-owner of the American baseball team Los Angeles Dodgers.
According to the club, 2.5 billion pounds (3 billion euros) of the money will be transferred to a currently frozen account, the transactions of which are monitored by the British government. The main aim is to ensure that the Russian oligarch Abramovich does not personally benefit from the sale. Another 1.75 billion pounds (2 billion euros) are to be invested directly in the club around former Bundesliga coach Tuchel.
Because of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, Abramovich’s assets (club owner since 2003) were recently frozen by Great Britain – Chelsea were faced with massive problems. The Londoners around the German internationals Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Antonio Rüdiger lost their main sponsor and were only allowed to stay in the league thanks to a special license.
A turnaround was already apparent on Friday, however, when Tuchel publicly indicated an agreement with a new owner. “I heard that there is a preferred bidder and things are going well,” he said. “When the situation is clear, we are able to act and make decisions.”
At the moment, as emphasized by Tuchel, who led the club to the premier class triumph last year, the club is “in a passive role” and therefore not in a good position. The coach sees national player Antonio Rüdiger leaving the Blues as a direct consequence of the sanctions imposed on Abramovich.
The unclear situation is stressful for his players and has consequences for all planning. “We tried not to focus on the matter as much as possible. But of course it’s omnipresent,” said Tuchel.
Now he and his stars can breathe a sigh of relief.