Boehly and Abramovich: Americans Taking Over from the Russians in Chelsea

Illustrated by Jeannette Khouri

Chelsea Football Club announced that a consortium headed by American businessman Todd Boehly officially acquired the ownership of the club after agreeing on all terms between the club's executives who managed the negotiation process.

The UK government had seized the property of Russian businessman Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea FC, including the club, against the background of his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and as a form of punishment for the Russian military operation against Ukraine.

The club was seized and offered for sale under the supervision of the government. Many parties submitted offers to buy the club before the Boehly syndicate won the deal.

The English club issued an official statement, confirming that all conditions for the acquisition of Chelsea FC by an American group led by Boehly have been agreed.

The statement continued that of the total investment of £4.25 billion, £2.5 billion will be allocated to purchase shares in the club, and these proceeds will be deposited into a UK frozen bank account with the intent of donating 100% to charitable causes.

Boehly’s fortune is equal to half the wealth of the Russian Abramovich, amounting to 4.5 billion dollars, compared to 9 billion dollars for his Russian counterpart, but Boehly’s experience in the field of sports is a cause for optimism in Chelsea.

The American billionaire, who will lead the new alliance to manage Chelsea, has a sizable stake in the largest Los Angeles sports clubs, led by the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team and the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team.

Boehly graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1996 with a BA in Finance and studied at the London School of Economics.

While at the London School of Economics, Boehly started working for Citibank and then Credit Suisse so that he could gain experience in finance.


He then launched the trust investment business of a major US corporation, Guggenheim Partners, and took on the responsibilities of the asset management business.

In 2015, Boehly bought some of the assets he had accumulated in his previous company and founded Elderg, a private holding company that invests in various industries.

Abramovich, meanwhile, is a Russian billionaire and businessman, born on October 24, 1966, in Saratov, which was part of the Soviet Union.

Born to a Jewish father and mother, Abramovich suffered from the horrors of World War II, as the family lived in Hitler's war-ravaged Ukraine.

Abramovich grew up as an orphan and did not complete his university education. Concerning his marital status, he is divorced with 7 children.

His fortune is estimated at $13.6 billion, and he is ranked 142nd among the world's richest people, according to Forbes magazine.

Abramovich owns stakes in steelmaking giants Evraz and Norilsk Nickel, as well as most of the shares in Chelsea Football Club.

He has the second largest yacht in the world, which is 533 feet high, that he bought for nearly $400 million in 2010.

He sold his 73% stake in Russian oil company Sibneft to state-owned Gazprom for $13 billion in 2005.

Abramovich spent $2.5 billion in the Chukotka region, while he was chairman of the local Duma from 2001 to 2013.

He transferred more than $90 million of New York property to his ex-wife Dasha Zhukova.

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