Chelsea confirms £4.25bn Todd Boehly-led takeover to be completed next week
Chelsea Football Club has confirmed that its multibillion-pound takeover is set to be completed on Monday.
The English Premier League club is being sold to a consortium led by Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly and backed by Clearlake Capital.
A statement from the club on Saturday said: "Chelsea Football Club can confirm that a final and definitive agreement was entered into last night to sell the club to the Todd Boehly/Clearlake Capital consortium.
"It is expected that the transaction will be completed on Monday. The club will update further at that time."
After Chelsea was put up for sale on 2 March, the Boehly-led bid secured a £4.25bn deal following a two-month-long process, largely financed by US private equity firm Clearlake Capital.
The sale, which was approved by the UK government earlier this week, will bring down the curtain on Roman Abramovich's 19-year tenure as the owner of Chelsea.
The Russian tycoon has reflected fondly on his stay in west London and is confident Boehly and the Clearlake Capital consortium can take the club in the right direction.
"It has been an honour of a lifetime to be a part of this club - I would like to thank all the club's past and current players, staff, and of course fans for these incredible years," Abramovich said in a statement on Chelsea's website.
"My goal has been to ensure that the next owner has a mindset that will enable success for the men's and women's team, as well as the will and drive to continue developing other key aspects of the club, such as the academy and the vital work of Chelsea Foundation.
"I am pleased this search has now come to a successful conclusion. As I hand over Chelsea to its new custodians, I would like to wish them the best of success, both on and off the pitch."
The government said in a statement that it had "reached a position where we could issue a licence that permits the sale" of the club.
"We are satisfied the proceeds of the sale will not benefit Roman Abramovich or other sanctioned individuals," Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said.
It came after the Premier League board approved the proposed takeover on Tuesday.
Chelsea's former owner was sanctioned by the UK government on 10 March, days after he put the club up for sale, with Downing Street claiming to have proven his links to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Mr Abramovich said that net proceeds from the sale of the club would be donated to victims of the war in Ukraine.
A deal to sell the football club dragged out as the government ensured that Mr Abramovich would not profit from the enforced sale of the club.
He and his advisers struck a binding £4.25bn deal this month with a group majority-funded by Clearlake Capital, a Californian investment firm, and spearheaded by Mr Boehly.
The club had been put under a strict government operating licence, and all of Mr Abramovich's other UK assets were frozen.
Under the terms of the sanctions, Chelsea has not been able to carry out any transfers, either with existing players or external targets - but once the takeover is complete, the team will be able to do business as usual.
Meanwhile, Sky News revealed recently that the terms of the takeover would prevent Mr Boehly and his fellow investors from paying dividends or taking management fees for a decade.
The new owners will also be prohibited from selling any shares in the club for 10 years, as well as agreeing to strict limits on the level of debt that they can take on.