It’s been weeks in the making, but the takeover saga at Chelsea is finally over. After sanctions were placed on now-former own Roman Abramovich due to the ongoing situation in Ukraine, the Russian has been searching for someone to buy the Stamford Bridge outfit. And after the consortium led by Boehly was declared as the preferred bidder, things have moved quickly to completion.
The change in ownership at Chelsea brings to an end a fantastic era under Abramovich. The Russian acquired the club for £140 million in 2003, and since then, they have gone on to pick up five Premier League titles, two Champions Leagues, two Europa Leagues, five FA Cups and three EFL Cups. The Abramovich era ended with Chelsea lifting the UEFA Super Cup last year and then the Club World Cup in February.
The Boehly led consortium has stumped up a whopping £4.25bn to gain control at Stamford Bridge, completing the deal a day before the club’s special government license expired. On completing the deal, Boehly, an esteemed businessman hailing from the US, said that he was “honoured” and that he “wants to make fans proud.”
One of the primary reasons Boehly and Clearlake were given the go-ahead to push through a deal to buy Chelsea is that they made commitments in writing that they would extend and enhance Chelsea's competitiveness. This would be possible with funds being invested into the academy system and women's team, as well as Stamford Bridge itself and Kingsmeadow Stadium. There will also be continued backing from the Chelsea Foundation.
Now the takeover is complete, Boehly and co will have to quickly get to work and enable Chelsea to play catch up. They have already seen the likes of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen depart for pastures new but have the opportunity to tie down the likes of N’Golo Kante and Mason Mount, who are critical to Thomas Tuchel’s plans moving forward.
And before they can get to work on helping to strengthen Tuchel’s squad ahead of next season, there are conundrums to solve, in the shape of goalkeeper Kepa Arizabalaga and Romelu Lukaku. Chelsea acquired both players for big money, and both have, so far, failed to deliver. As a result, they continue to find themselves out of the reckoning, and it could be a case of the club having to cut their losses at this stage.
Chelsea, who won the Champions League two seasons ago, will want and expect to be competitive next term. But, as things stand, they're some way short of pacesetters like Manchester City and Liverpool. If they are to mount a challenge, a significant investment must be made, and Tuchel must be backed in the changes he wants to make this summer. The onus is now on Boehly and Clearlake to come up with the cash, as they have promised to do so on completing a deal to buy the club.