Chelsea takeover: Boehly bid set for Premier League, government approval after Abramovich sets record straight


The Todd Boehly Consortium’s bid to buy Chelsea is now set to be subject to Premier League and government approval, according to the PA news agency.

Roman Abramovich insisted in a statement on Thursday that he still has no intention of keeping the proceeds from the sale of Chelseaor seek to repay loans.

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It is believed that fears were raised in government earlier this week that Russian-Israeli billionaire Abramovich could backtrack on his plan to write off Chelsea’s £1.5billion debt.

Abramovich expects that loan to be frozen at the end of from Chelsea sale, with the offer from Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Boehly edging ever closer to a takeover of Stamford Bridge.

The government is to issue a new license as the final part of the Chelsea sale, after Abramovich was sanctioned by Downing Street on March 10.

Boehly and its consortium bid must pass Premier League owner and manager testing before this final stage of government approval.

Steps taken by Abramovich to clarify his position on Thursday night paved the way for the Chelsea sale to proceed, with Eldridge Industries boss Boehly still on track to take over a possible takeover.

In a statement published on the Chelsea website, a spokesman for the club owner said: “Firstly, Mr Abramovich’s intentions regarding donating the proceeds from the sale of Chelsea to charity have not changed. .

“Since the initial announcement, Mr. Abramovich’s team has identified senior representatives from United Nations agencies and major global charities who have been tasked with creating a foundation and establishing a plan for its activities.

“The lead independent expert has had conversations with government officials to outline the initial structure and plans.

“Mr. Abramovich was not involved in this work and it was managed independently by experts with years of experience in humanitarian organizations.

“Secondly, Mr. Abramovich did not ask for the repayment of any loans – such suggestions are entirely false – as are suggestions that Mr. Abramovich raised the price of the club at the last minute.

“As part of Mr Abramovich’s aim to find a good goalkeeper for Chelsea FC, however, he has encouraged every candidate throughout this process to commit to investing in the club – including the Academy , the women’s team, the necessary redevelopment of the stadium as well as the maintenance of the work of the Chelsea Foundation.

“Following the sanctions and other restrictions imposed on Mr Abramovich by the UK since the announcement of the sale of the club, the loan has also been subject to EU sanctions, requiring further approvals.

“This means that the funds will be frozen and subject to a legal procedure governed by the authorities. These funds are always intended for the Foundation. The government is aware of these restrictions as well as the legal implications.

“To be clear, Mr. Abramovich has no access to or control over these funds and will have no access to or control over these funds after the sale.

“Despite the changed circumstances since his initial announcement, he remains committed to finding a good goalkeeper for Chelsea FC and ensuring the proceeds go to good causes.”

The sale of Chelsea has a deadline of May 31, when the government’s temporary license for the Blues expires.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Britain’s richest man, tabled a final bid to buy Chelsea on Friday, as New York investment bank Raine Group prepared to confirm Boehly’s consortium as the preferred bidder.

Raine’s rejection of Ratcliffe, however, has not deterred the 69-year-old from continuing to push forward his bid to buy the west London club.

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust (CST) said it held a meeting with representatives of Ratcliffe on Thursday, raising concerns about their ability to complete a deal by May 31.

CST thanked Ratcliffe’s team at Ineos for their ‘transparency’ in the talks, but said: ‘Regardless of the potential merits of the offer – on which we make no further comment – CST has raised concerns regarding Ineos’ ability to complete the purchase before the May 31 deadline.

“This is all the more true since, by their own admission, they are outside the process and were, according to reports, “rejected out of hand” by Raine. We would be happy to continue discussions should this situation change.

Tom Crotty, director of Ratcliffe’s petrochemical company Ineos, told the PA news agency on Wednesday that Ratcliffe’s offer had been rejected by Raine, but insisted the group was “still pushing” to close. a deal.

CST added: “It is essential that the sale of Chelsea is completed quickly and transparently.

“We urge the current owners, Raine and the UK government to ensure this happens.

“Any delay in this process could jeopardize Chelsea’s future – all parties must ensure the sustainability and future of the club.”


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