Chelsea news: Todd Boehly takeover may have accidentally been confirmed by club sponsor | Football | Sport


Chelsea fans were left confused on Tuesday morning when club sponsor, Trivago, publicly welcomed Todd Boehly on social media. The US-based billionaire heads up a consortium that is in pole position to become the Blues’ new owners more than two months after Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK government. 

Chelsea were forced into an awkward ownership fiasco when Abramovich’s UK assets were frozen due to alleged links to Russian President Vladimir Putin. A lengthy process has therefore been conducted under pressure, with culture secretary Nadine Dorries warning that the Blues were on ‘borrowed time’ in April. 

Boehly’s consortium were chosen by Raine, the group handling the takeover, as the preferred bidders several weeks ago. A whopping £4.25billion deal to see the club change hands has encountered complications along the way, and there are reportedly government concerns that Boehly’s bid could fall through as deadlines loom. 

With Chelsea fans still waiting for further updates, they were seemingly given a huge one by an unlikely source on Tuesday morning. A short and snappy statement from the Trivago Twitter account read: “Welcome to the Chelsea FC family, Todd Boehly! #LetsGo”.

Exactly how the proceeds of the sale are dealt with has made life difficult for those involved in the takeover. BBC Sport claim that there is a ‘lack of consensus’ over where the colossal sum goes with Abramovich unable to pocket any of it, almost 20 years after he purchased the club for £140million. The Russian billionaire has pledged to make sure the funds go to ‘good causes’. 

It remains to be seen if Trivago’s Tweet precludes an official announcement from Chelsea, or whether it will go down as a clumsy social media gaffe. Boehly, who owns baseball team LA Dodgers, and his group were selected ahead of rival bids spearheaded by Sir Martin Broughton and Stephen Pagliuca, with plenty of interest in acquiring the Champions League holders. 

Chelsea are currently operating under a special license, granted by the UK government, which expires at the end of the month. Time is therefore of the essence to get the deal done, but concerns over the structure of the deal and whether Abramovich, or organisations suspected to be associated with him, can get to the money represent persistent causes for concern. 

Earlier this month Abramovich’s spokesperson reinforced that the Russian will have ‘no access or control of the funds following the sale’, adding that ‘the funds are still earmarked for a charitable foundation’. The government is reportedly keen to set up a third-party account to stop Abramovich, or anyone linked with the 55-year-old, getting hold of the money. 

Chelsea are set to lose several top players this summer after ownership uncertainty left them unable to offer new contracts, or provide any kind of clear picture for what the future holds. Antonio Rudiger is among those to head for the exit door after agreeing a move to Real Madrid. 

If Boehly’s takeover does go through, he will at least take charge of a Champions League team after the mathematical confirmation of their sport in Europe’s elite competition for next season. Even so, Thomas Tuchel and co will be disappointed at the gap between themselves and the league leaders, with Manchester City currently 20 points ahead. 




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