Billionaire Todd Boehly led an investment group with Clearlake Capital in a deal to buy off Chelsea FC from Russian-Israeli billionaire, Roman Abramovich, for £4.35 billion in May 2022. This followed as a result of the sanctions placed on Russia and the Russian Oligarchy. Roman Abramovich had to give up Chelsea football club, among other assets, to mainly government agencies and fellow billionaires as the world pushed down on Russia for invading Ukraine.
The deal ended Roman Abramovich’s 19-year ownership of Chelsea, during which time the club won 21 trophies, including five Premier League titles and two Champions Leagues.
According to a statement from Chelsea, the team had received more than 250 inquiries from potential buyers, held in-depth meetings with more than 100 individuals and organizations, and signed 32 confidentiality agreements, while only 12 of the bids were deemed credible.
Who is Todd Boehly?
Todd Boehly is a 48 years old business mogul, investor, and a controlling member of Eldridge Industries, a holding firm that invests in a range of sectors including real estate, sports, media, technology, insurance, asset management, and consumer goods sector and is headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut. He is also the co-proprietor and chairman of Premier League football club, Chelsea.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Boehly’s net worth is estimated at $US6.1 billion, putting him in the same ballpark as other Premier League Club owners, many of whom are fellow American bankers.
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This year, his company Eldridge sold its credit management company, CBAM Partners to Carlyle Group, an American multinational private equity, corporation for $US787 million. The company also acquired a stake in Bruce Springsteen’s music library for $US550 million. Eldridge, in recent times, made it amongst the major players in the media and credit sector.
The billionaire is no stranger to the major leagues, as he owns modest stakes in both the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Dodgers, having strong ties to sports, that is, baseball and basketball. He is the most visible face of ownership at Chelsea and is accountable for the club’s successes and failures.
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The purchase of Chelsea football club for £4.25 billion ($5.2 billion), is merely the most recent in a line of successful transactions by the American-born billionaire. The latest from Chelsea is its acquisition of Raheem Sterling, one of England’s most productive attackers, from Manchester City and Marc Cucurella, a defender.
Public perception following the purchase of Chelsea FC
At a recent Chelsea football match, the billionaire was eagerly watched as the billionaire replacement of Roman Abramovich. However, there are concerns about Boehly’s business interests. Some analysts view him as the shrewd businessman who was only able to buy a legendary club at a distressed sale that would not have happened if unlikely geopolitical events had not occurred.
Others perceive him as an overconfident investor who purchased a prized asset in the midst of a bubble and is now forced to compete against groups supported by sovereign states’ boundless coffers.
Nevertheless, the new owners said they are “committed to investing in key areas that will extend and enhance Chelsea’s competitiveness, including the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge, further investment in the academy, the women’s team and Kingsmeadow stadium,” adding that they will “continue the important work of the Chelsea Foundation“.
Boehly stated in the new vision statement: “We are honoured to become the new custodians of Chelsea Football Club. We’re all in – 100 per cent – every minute of every match.”