Chelsea takeover ‘thrown into doubt’ over Roman Abramovich assurances
Todd Boehly’s impending £4.25bn takeover of Chelsea FC has been ‘thrown into doubt’ amid government concerns over Roman Abramovich’s plans for the proceeds, according to a report.
Boehly has an agreement in place to purchase Chelsea from the Russian-Israeli oligarch, with the deal previously expected to be completed by the end of May.
However, according to Sky News there is now a fresh stumbling block, amid ‘concerns’ in Whitehall surrounding Abramovich’s alleged failure to provide assurances about the £2.5bn proceeds from the sale.
The Chelsea owner had previously said the money would be donated to victims of the war in Ukraine.
As a result, there are now said to be doubts within the government over whether a special license required to ratify the sale will be provided before a deadline at the end of the month.
If that deadline is not met, Chelsea face the threat of exclusion from competitions next season or potentially even administration.
The report adds that the situation remains ‘fluid’ and a license could yet be granted in time for the transaction to be completed.
The protracted takeover was thought to have hit a snare earlier in May when Abramovich was reported to be attempting to recoup £1.6bn owed to him by Chelsea. However, the club denied that was the case and subsequently an agreement with Boehly’s consortium was announced.
A statement at the time read: “Mr Abramovich’s intentions in relation to gifting the proceeds from the Chelsea sale to charity have not changed.
“Since the initial announcement, Mr Abramovich’s team has identified senior representatives from UN bodies and large global charitable organizations who have been tasked with forming a Foundation and setting out a plan for its activities. The lead independent expert has had conversations with Government representatives presenting the structure and initial plans.
“Secondly, Mr Abramovich has not asked for any loan to be repaid to him – such suggestions are entirely false – as are suggestions that Mr Abramovich increased the price of the Club last minute.”