Preferred Chelsea bidder Todd Boehly and his consortium have had their owners’ and directors’ test completed by the Premier League, giving them the all clear by the league to buy the club, according to reports. It comes amid other reports that owner Roman Abramovich is looking to have his £1.6billion loan to the club repaid by the next ownership.
It has seen yet another twist in a two-month long saga for the Blues, with the 55-year-old Russian receiving sanctions by the UK Government for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in March. This put a freeze on all of his assets in the nation, while Chelsea were put under a special sporting licence to allow them to operate under specific conditions.
However, that licence expires at the end of May, causing culture secretary Nadine Dorries to claim that the club are on “borrowed time”. US firm Raine Group was put in charge of overseeing bids, eventually slimming the options down to three bidders.
Those were consortiums led by Sir Martin Broughton, Steve Pagliuca and Todd Boehly. Another set of bidding commenced, though seemingly out of nowhere, as Sir Jim Ratcliffe entered the scene with a last minute offer.
Despite the dramatic entrance, it was the Boehly bid that was chosen as the preferred bidder just hours later. The choosing of a preferred bidder now means they have a period of exclusivity while a deal is being pushed through.
One of the formalities is an owners’ and directors’ test, a background check that either allows or denies a person or consortium to buy a club by the Premier League. And now, according to journalist Rob Draper, Boehly’s bid has been given the all clear on the test, allowing them to proceed forward if they wish.
There are now two obstacles in their way of completing the takeover, one being the all clear from the government and the second being the all clear from Abramovich. The latter could be more of a problem than the former.
This is because, according to a number of reports, there are fears the current owner is looking to have his £1.6billion loan to the club repaid in restructured payments. This could hold up any potential takeover going forward, while the club’s status in the Premier League and Europe is under threat by that notion.
It remains to be seen how this saga ends, with so much riding on it, but so many twists and turns left.