Who will buy Chelsea? Takeover news as Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital consortium the ‘preferred bidders’

Roman Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale following the Russian invasion of Ukraine which led to UK Government sanctions against the Chelsea owner.

The Boehly-led consortium bid, now being referred to as the Clearlake Boehly bid, is reportedly on track to become the ‘preferred’ bidders to take over Chelsea Football Club and an announcement may be made today, confirming the news on the next ownership of Stamford Bridge.

Roman Abramovich had hoped to sell his beloved club before the inevitable sanctions were imposed on him by the British Government but it was not to be and Chelsea now await to find out their new owners.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, often thought to be Britain’s richest man, has also made a last-minute bid for the club but Sky have reported that the £4.35bn he offered is most definitely not significantly higher than the Boehly bid, but it is in fact far lower.

The American businessman Todd Boehly has been leading the consortium, and is joined with Switzerland’s Hansjorg Wyss and Clearlake.

The new naming of Clearlake-Boehly bid is reflective of the majority source of the funding and the 50-50 power split between the private equity firm and the face of the consortium - Boehly.

In addition to Sky’s comment on Ratcliffe’s bid, they have also reported that the Premier League are already ‘advanced’ in their scrutiny of the bid under the league’s Owners and Directors Test.

Everton’s Richarlison scored in their 1-0 win over Chelsea on Sunday 1 May 2022

Clearklake have assured the UK Government that they do not have any involvement with Russian investors or investments in Russian companies - they will also be made to show proof of this.

It is thought that receiving the necessary approval from both the Premier League and UK Government should not pose any additional complications as both are ‘unlikely’ to object.

Sky’s Mark Kleinman has also taken to Twitter to say: “Clearlake Capital, the majority funder of Todd Boehly’s preferred bid for Chelsea Football Club, has offered assurances to the Premier League about the identities of its fund investors in an attempt to win swift approval for the takeover.”

When is the deadline?

The UK government has placed a 31 May deadline on Chelsea to find a new owner as the Secretary of State for Digital, Media and Sport Nadine Dorries claimed the Blues are on ‘borrowed time’.

Speaking to the BBC, Dorries said: “There is a very short window left for the sale to take place. Chelsea’s being sold, as you know, and the sanctions apply, so those sanctions still apply during the sale.

“But what I will say, actually, is that Chelsea is very much on borrowed time at the moment.”

When asked how quickly a sale would need to be completed, Dorries said: “Within weeks.”

Who else bid for Chelsea FC?

It was recently reported that Lewis Hamilton and Serena Williams had joined Martin Broughton’s consortium to buy Chelsea.

Hamilton is known for being an Arsenal fan but said he hoped to improve the diversity and inclusivity of Chelsea and its broader community by joining the bid.

Conor McGregor was also one of the first to suggest he would wish to buy the London club, but no more noise was made from the MMA fighter.

The LA Dodgers part-owner Boehly has also fought off Stephen Pagliuca and English millionaire and Chelsea fan Nick Candy to reach his spot as the ‘preferred bidder’.