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UK approves Chelsea FC Sale

Once Premier League clearance is given, the reigning FIFA Club World Cup champions and 2021 European champions will be sold for 2.5 billion pounds ($3.1 billion), the largest sum ever paid for a sports team.

UK approves Chelsea FC Sale

Roman Abramovich’s 19-year reign as owner of Chelsea is coming to an end after the British government authorized the sale of the Premier League club to a group led by Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly.

The government needed to ensure that Abramovich, who was sanctioned for his ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, would not benefit from the leveraged buyout of the club that he invested in and made into one of Europe’s most prosperous.

Once Premier League clearance is given, the reigning FIFA Club World Cup winners and 2021 European champions will be sold for 2.5 billion pounds ($3.1 billion), the largest sum ever paid for a sports team.

Chelsea has been functioning under a government license since Abramovich’s assets were frozen in March, and it ends on May 31.

“Following significant analysis, we are now convinced that the full profits of the transaction will not benefit Roman Abramovich or any other sanctioned individual,” the British government stated in a press release issued Wednesday.

“We will now begin the process of ensuring that the earnings of the sale are utilised for moral purposes in Ukraine, assisting war victims.”

“The actions taken today will ensure the continuation of this vital cultural asset while also protecting fans and the broader football world.” Following Russia’s incursion of Ukraine three months earlier, the selling process was highly fought, and Boehly’s firm had to pledge 1.75 billion pounds ($2.2 billion) of investment in the club in order to be selected as the current owners.

Chelsea had previously agreed to a contract with the group earlier this month, which includes Boehly, Dodgers major owner Mark Walter, Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss, and money from private equity company Clearlake Capital.

Chelsea supporters have become accustomed to extravagant finance during Abramovich’s 19-year ownership, with more than $1 billion net expenditure on individuals who have helped the men’s squad win 21 championships.

In Stamford Bridge, investment is required. Chelsea is the Premier League’s smallest and most antiquated stadium, with plans for a redevelopment of the 41,000-capacity structure put on hold by Abramovich in 2018 as British-Russian diplomatic tensions escalated.

Chelsea’s $3.1 billion price tag surpasses the $2.3 billion paid for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers in 2018.

Boehly owns a minority investment in the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks in addition to the Dodgers.