It took a while, but the Chelsea Football Club, owned by Russian oligarch and former FOP (Friend of Putin) Roman Abramovich, closed on Monday. The price? A cool $3.2 billion. How much will Abramovich see of that windfall? Zip. The British government had to approve the sale, which they did, and they went to great lengths to make sure the oligarch won’t profit from it. Instead, the money will be transferred to a frozen account, and then it will be sent to help rebuild Ukraine and other humanitarian purposes in the war-torn county.
The new owners are headed up by the part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Todd Boehly. He knows he’s holding a crown jewel of sports franchises and said that he’s fully committed to his new team across the pond despite being an American.
“We’re all in — 100% — every minute of every match.”
Yeah, he better be because those are some hard-core fans that don’t suffer fools—especially rich owners who don’t know what they are doing.
There was incredible interest and demand for the team. Boehly’s crew was one of roughly 250 buyers that were initially interested. The jokers were tossed aside, and it was whittled down to a dozen serious offers and then a final three.
The $3.2 billion Boehly is paying is a drop in the bucket of his investment. He vowed to spend $2.2 billion on the Chelsey men’s, women’s, and academy teams. He’s also earmarking big dollars to infrastructure and has agreed to the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge in the UK.
He’s got a tough act to follow. Abramovich was a successful owner. Chelsea’s men’s team brought home the Champions League title in 2012 and 2021 and is the defending Club World Cup winner.