The government is expected to approve the Todd Boehly-led consortium takeover of Chelsea within the next 24 hours.
They have now received legal guarantees that Roman Abramovich will not benefit from the sale of Chelsea meaning that they can approve the £4.25bn deal.
Sky Sports News understands that the proceeds of the sale are going into a frozen bank account controlled by the government.
Abramovich is also sanctioned by the European Union and, as he has a Portuguese passport, the sale has to be approved by the Portuguese authorities. It is expected the deal will be signed off on Tuesday.
The deal will bring an end to Abramovich’s 19-year ownership of Chelsea, in which the club has won 21 trophies including five Premier League titles and two Champions Leagues.
Boehly, co-owner of the LA Dodgers baseball team, and fellow consortium member Hansjörg Wyss were at Stamford Bridge for Sunday’s final 2-1 win over Watford.
The news will be a boost for Thomas Tuchel’s side as they have been unable to buy or sell players or negotiate new contracts with players due to the restrictions imposed on Abramovich over his alleged links to Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
What is the Boehly bid and who is part of it?
- Mr Boehly’s bid would see voting rights shared equally between him and Clearlake Capital, a Californian private equity firm.
- Clearlake, which has no direct ownership pedigree in major sports assets, would own a majority of the shares in Chelsea.
- The group is being advised by Goldman Sachs and Robey Warshaw, where the former chancellor – and Chelsea fan – George Osborne, now works as a partner.
Abramovich was then part of a delegation trying to broker a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine and suffered ‘symptoms of suspected chemical weapons poisoning’ during the talks.
The UK government sanctioned the oligarch on March 10 but granted Chelsea a special licence – which expires on May 31 – to keep operating.
Talks over the sale have dragged on in recent weeks, with Abramovich having to deny reports that he wanted the £1.5bn he loaned to Chelsea repaid before he would sanction a sale.
Boehly bid successful – what does it mean for Chelsea?
- This is the second time Todd Boehly has tried to buy Chelsea. His £2.2 billion offer was rejected in 2019.
- Chelsea are hoping to operate as normal in the transfer market this summer and Thomas Tuchel will be backed to get the players he needs.
- The prospective new owners have already started making plans for the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge.
- Their long-term plan is to turn the ground into a destination stadium where fans will want to spend a significant amount of time.