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JUST IN: Todd Boehly consortium acquires Chelsea

Todd Boehly’s consortium has signed an agreement to purchase Chelsea from Roman Abramovich.

The proposed deal, announced by the club in a statement in the early hours of Saturday morning, has to be approved by the UK Government and the Premier League before it can be completed.

Chelsea say a deal is “expected to complete in late May”.

The group headed by the LA Dodgers part-owner – which includes backing from Clearlake Capital, a US investment firm – beat off late competition from £4.25billion bidder Sir Jim Ratcliffe and other consortiums 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’s licence for the club to operate ran out on that date.

With the Raine Group – hired by Abramovich to oversee the sale of the club – having chosen its preferred bidder, the government can issue a separate licence to allow the Premier League club to be sold.

The Premier League is meeting on June 8 to constitute the new season, by which time Chelsea would need to have a licence to be part of the next campaign.

Chelsea said in a statement: “Of the total investment being made, £2.5bn will be applied to purchase the shares in the Club and such proceeds will be deposited into a frozen UK bank account with the intention to donate 100 per cent to charitable causes as confirmed by Roman Abramovich.

“In addition, the proposed new owners will commit £1.75bn in further investment for the benefit of the Club. This includes investments in Stamford Bridge, the Academy, the Women’s Team and Kingsmeadow and continued funding for the Chelsea Foundation.”

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

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