The Boehly consortium signs an agreement to succeed Roman Abramovich

Chelsea’s stadium, Stamford Bridge.

Justin Tallis | AFP | Getty Images

Todd Boehly’s consortium have signed a deal to buy Chelsea from Roman Abramovich.

The proposed deal, announced by the club in a statement in the early hours of Saturday morning, must be approved by the British government and the Premier League before it can be completed. Chelsea said a deal should “be agreed at the end of May”.

The group led by the LA Dodgers co-owner – which includes backing from Clearlake Capital, a US investment firm – beat late competition from £4.25bn bidder Sir Jim Ratcliffe and other consortia led by Stephen Pagliuca and Sir Martin Broughton to win the battle to become the Premier League club’s new owners.

Chelsea had until May 31 to find a new bidder as the UK government license allowing the club to operate expired on that date. With Raine Group – hired by Abramovich to oversee the sale of the club – having chosen their preferred bidder, the government can issue a separate license to allow the sale of the Premier League club.

The Premier League meets on June 8 to constitute the new season, by which time Chelsea should have a license to be part of the next campaign.

Chelsea said in a statement: “Of the total investment made, £2.5 billion will be applied to buy the shares of the club and this proceeds will be deposited in a frozen UK bank account with the intention of donating 100% to charitable causes, as confirmed by Roman Abramovich.

“In addition, the proposed new owners will commit £1.75 billion of additional investment to benefit the club. This includes investment in Stamford Bridge, the Academy, the women’s team and Kingsmeadow and continued funding for the Foundation. Chelsea.”

Sky Sports News reported in April Boehly’s consortium have been chosen as the preferred group to buy Chelsea, despite a late £4.25billion bid from Britain’s richest man, Ratcliffe, for the west London club – although this offer was rejected out of hand.

The Pagliuca Consortium was told late last month that it was not in the running to become the Raine Group’s preferred bidder. However, the Broughton Consortium – led by former Liverpool and British Airways chairman Sir Martin and including billionaire Crystal Palace shareholders Dave Blitzer and Josh Harris – were still in the running.

Lewis Hamilton was one of the investors backing Broughton’s bid to acquire Chelsea and is said to have pledged £10million in the bid. Tennis legend Serena Williams was also among the backers of the Broughton Consortium.

A group led by The Ricketts family, owners of the Chicago Cubs, and Citadel hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin, along with US investment bank Lazard, were in the final four but withdrew their offer in March. Plans fell apart as consortium members could not agree on the final composition of the deal.

Chelsea are expected to have new owners by the end of this month – almost three months after Russian owner Abramovich, who has been in charge of Stamford Bridge for 19 years, put the club up for sale for the first time on March 2.

The 55-year-old was sanctioned by the British government on March 10, with Downing Street claiming to have proven links between the Russian-Israeli billionaire and Vladimir Putin.

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