Chelsea fans are happy as Abramovich successor revealed with takeover promises

Todd Boehly’s consortium has made it into the final shortlist of Chelsea bidders and, based on those left, is the best option

Todd Boehly’s consortium has made it into the final shortlist of Chelsea bidders and, based on those left, is the best option.
Todd Boehly’s Premier League statement shows why he’s the best option to own Chelsea.
It was hard on Thursday evening to not feel like the process over who would be next owning Chelsea had turned into some awful ITV game show. Rumours and counter rumours flowing from different media sources indicating over who or had not made it onto Raine’s prestigious shortlist.

From what we can gather on Friday morning when I type these words, the two frontrunners to buy Chelsea are Todd Boehly’s consortium, involving Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss, the British entrepreneur Jonathan Goldstein and California investment firm Clearlake Capital. And Sir Martin Broughton’s consortium with Josh Harris, David Blitzer, Vivek Ranadive and Lord Sebastian Coe.

The Ricketts Family’s bid status is unknown, with conflicting reports on Thursday telling us they were both in or had been knocked back, but if the two reported parties are the choices, Boehly has proven to be the best.

I have written about Boehly’s track record of winning with the LA Dodgers and how that helps set him apart from other interested parties. The sheer size of the online backlash to the Ricketts, the other US-led bid, also helps Boehly’s growing reputation amongst supporters who’ve slowly gained intrigue over Roman Abramovich’s potential successor.

I have referred to two very impressive interviews Boehly gave last year to Sportico and Yahoo, both fully worth your time to get a gauge of the American’s history and intentions with the Dodgers, to which when asked in the Yahoo interview, repeatedly talks about the importance of winning in LA.

An older clip from an interview with Bloomberg from September 2019 is probably the most relevant to Chelsea, responding to a question over why Boehly would want to buy a Premier League club.

“Football is the biggest sport in the world”. Boehly starts. “The passion that the fans have for the activity and the sport and the teams is unparalleled. So when you start to think about you know what you’re trying to build with these teams is, you’re really trying to a – win and b – be part of the community.

“And the opportunity that we had with the Dodgers, it was really about a partnership with Los Angeles. How are we gonna win? How are we gonna drive championships, and how are we going to build passion?

Todd Boehly’s consortium have made it onto the final shortlist to buy Chelsea
Todd Boehly’s consortium have made it onto the final shortlist to buy Chelsea
“If you look at what the Premier League offers, it’s all of those things. It’s the highest quality play, and it’s the best players.”

At the time of speaking, Boehly had originally shown his intentions to buy Chelsea from Abramovich, having a £2.2bn bid rejected. Now Boehly is closer to owning the Blues than ever before; these words have never been more relevant.

The interviewer goes on to ask Boehly what are the chances of him owning a football club, to which he responds, “you can never predict these things”. More ironically is what he says next in regards to the reality of Chelsea’s current situation three years later.

“One of the nice things about them [Premier League clubs] is that they’re relationship-driven and their people-driven, and therefore, it’s unlikely that one just gets put up and sold by auction.”

Well, that is exactly what has happened in the past month, and Boehly now hopes those previous relationships and due diligence he did in 2019 can serve him well. The addition of Chelsea supporters Barbara Charone and Daniel Finkelstein on the board as non-executive board directors are shrewd moves. Finkelstein was involved in the Government’s fan-led review, which the Chelsea Supporters Trust advocates for in this sale.

What also makes Finkelstein an interesting choice is his background in football data, penning pieces for years with The Times analysing Premier League and international football, referred to as a pioneer in England for advocating the use of stats in football leading to success. Hiring physicist Dr Ian Graham to help him, Graham now runs Liverpool’s transfer policy.

I would also not advise playing a drinking game whilst watching Boehly talk about sports. The number of times he says the word ‘win’ indicates his intentions when taking over sports teams of this size.

With the lack of similar clarity over the Broughton consortium and unified opposition to the Ricketts, Boehly’s group, which has been one of the leading parties since the start of this process, feels the best bet.

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