Government FINALLY issues licence to allow Roman Abramovich to sell

Chelsea’s takeover is ON: Government FINALLY issue a licence to allow sanctioned owner Roman Abramovich to sell the club to Todd Boehly after the Premier League approved American’s £4.25bn deal

  • Todd Boehly’s £4.25billion takeover of Chelsea has got Government go-ahead
  • Downing Street has finally issued a licence to allow Roman Abramovich to sell 
  • The news comes after the Premier League approved the proposed takeover 

The Government have approved Todd Boehly’s £4.25billion Chelsea takeover.

Following on from Tuesday night’s statement from the Premier League confirming they have given the sale the green light – Whitehall have now followed suit.

A statement read: ‘Late last night the UK Government reached a position where we could issue a licence that permits the sale of Chelsea Football Club.

‘Following the sanctioning of Roman Abramovich, the Government has worked hard to ensure Chelsea Football Club has been able to continue to play football. But we have always been clear that the long-term future of the club could only be secured under a new owner.

‘Following extensive work, we are now satisfied that the full proceeds of the sale will not benefit Roman Abramovich or any other sanctioned individual. We will now begin the process of ensuring the proceeds of the sale are used for humanitarian causes in Ukraine, supporting victims of the war.

‘The steps today will secure the future of this important cultural asset and protect fans and the wider football community. We have been in discussions with relevant international partners for necessary licences required and we thank them for all their cooperation.’

The news comes after the Premier League board approved the proposed takeover of the Blues by the Boehly/Clearlake Consortium.

Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Boehly had already agreed a £4.25bn purchase of the Premier League club, with Abramovich’s ownership poised to end after 19 years.

The Government has finally issued a licence to allow Chelsea to be sold to Todd Boehly 

UK Secretary of State for the DCMS Nadine Dorries revealed news on Twitter on Wednesday

Abramovich (left) had hoped for some time to have been able to satisfy Government (Prime Minister Boris Johnson pictured right) expectations on how to handle £1.5bn loan to Chelsea

As Sportsmail revealed on Monday, the final details being ironed out were linked to the fact current owner Abramovich holds a Portuguese passport meaning the takeover was required to be approved by authorities there, too.

Ministers were in talks with their Portuguese and European Commission counterparts to provide them with the assurances they needed to approve the deal.

A statement from the Premier League on Tuesday evening read: ‘The Premier League Board has today approved the proposed takeover of Chelsea Football Club by the Todd Boehly/Clearlake Consortium.

‘The purchase remains subject to the Government issuing the required sale licence and the satisfactory completion of the final stages of the transaction.’

Russian-Israeli billionaire Abramovich had hoped for some time to have been able to satisfy Government expectations on how to handle his £1.5bn loan to Chelsea. 

The 55-year-old was thought to be confident those demands had been reached, and now Downing Street has given the go-ahead.

The Premier League statement on Tuesday added: ‘The Board has applied the Premier League’s Owners’ and Directors’ Test (OADT) to all prospective Directors, and undertaken the necessary due diligence.

‘The members of the Consortium purchasing the club are affiliates of the Clearlake Capital Group, L.P., Todd Boehly, Hansjorg Wyss and Mark Walter.

There has been huge uncertainty surrounding Chelsea since sanctions were imposed

‘Chelsea FC will now work with the relevant Governments to secure the necessary licences to complete the takeover.’

US magnate Boehly will become Chelsea’s controlling owner once the takeover is complete, though California investment firm Clearlake Capital will assume the majority shareholding.   

Boehly’s consortium completing the takeover will bring to an end a 12-week saga that was sparked by Abramovich officially putting the Blues up for sale on March 2.

Chelsea’s players and staff found out the club was being sold at Kenilworth Road, amid final preparations for their FA Cup fifth-round clash at Luton.

The Blues prevailed 3-2 despite the obvious distractions, as Abramovich released a statement pledging to write off the club’s debt and set up a foundation to aid victims of the war in Ukraine.

Abramovich was then sanctioned by the UK Government on March 10, with Downing Street claiming to have proven his links to Russia president Vladimir Putin.

Chelsea were put under a strict Government operating licence, with all of Abramovich’s other UK assets frozen.

Once Boehly’s takeover is complete the Blues will be able to return to business as usual – and there will be no time to lose on reconfiguring the playing squad.

The sanctions meant Chelsea could not conduct any transfer business, with either existing players or external targets.

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