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The UK Government Approves Chelsea FC Sale

The UK Government Approves Chelsea FC Sale

Todd Boehly‘s £4.25 billion ($5.3 billion) acquisition of Chelsea FC from sanctioned Russian businessman Roman Abramovich was approved by the British authorities on Wednesday.

The Premier League team was put up for sale in early March, just days before Abramovich was sanctioned by the United Kingdom as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The British government described the billionaire, who is also a target of European Union sanctions, as a member of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest circle.

Chelsea has been operating under the rules of a tight government license that ends on May 31, preventing them from renewing existing player contracts and imposing a transfer ban.

Because of concerns about Abramovich profiting from the sale of the London club, the deal has taken a long time to complete.

However, on Tuesday evening, the Premier League provided their approval, and hours later, ministers confirmed they would allow Chelsea’s sale.

“Given the sanctions we placed on people associated to Putin and the murderous invasion of Ukraine, the long-term existence of the club can only be assured under a new owner,” Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, whose mandate includes sport, tweeted.

“We are confident that the sale earnings will not go to Roman Abramovich or other sanctioned persons.”

Boehly, a co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, headed a coalition that beat out competitors to agree on a record price to buy the team earlier this month.

It was on the verge of collapsing at one point due to concerns that earnings would not go to charitable causes as promised by outgoing owner Abramovich.

The Russian, who purchased Chelsea in 2003, denied asking for his £1.5 billion loan to be repaid once the sale was completed.

In a statement, the government stated that it was convinced that the sale’s “whole revenues” would not benefit Abramovich or any other sanctioned individual.

“We will now begin the process of ensuring that the revenues of the sale are utilised for humanitarian purposes in Ukraine, including the support of war victims,” the statement said.

£2.5 billion of the total investment will be transferred into a frozen UK bank account and donated to a charitable foundation for the benefit of Ukrainian conflict victims.

The new owners will invest an additional £1.75 billion “for the benefit of the club.”

Transfer budget

Former Chelsea CEO Peter Kenyon told the BBC that the end of the crisis would be “total relief” for everyone involved with the club.

“We have a very short transfer window,” he explained, “and plans will have been made ahead of time.”

“They’ve already lost certain players due to their inability to re-sign them, so I think everyone — the squad and the management — will be relieved to be able to focus on the job at hand.”

Last season’s Champions League winners finished third in the Premier League, 19 points behind champions Manchester City, and were defeated in the FA Cup and League Cup finals by Liverpool.

Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, both crucial defenders for the German boss, are likely to go on free transfers to Real Madrid and Barcelona, respectively.

Tuchel said the club had been working at a “big disadvantage” and would need to be flexible in the transfer market in an interview on Chelsea’s website recorded before the deal was confirmed.

According to reports on Wednesday, the former PSG manager would be given a £200 million transfer budget.

Chelsea has undergone a complete transformation since Abramovich purchased the club for £140 million in 2003, collecting 19 major trophies during his 19-year reign, including five Premier League titles and two Champions League successes.

With the Dodgers, Boehly has a track record of producing sporting success.

They have made the MLB (Major League Baseball) playoffs every season for the past nine years and will win their first World Series in 32 years in 2020, thanks to massive investment in players.

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