Chelsea FC’s temporary license to operate expires at the end of the month, and its $5.2 billion sale to a consortium led by U.S. billionaire Todd Boehly might be hitting a roadblock.
Bloomberg reported Monday that outgoing owner Roman Abramovich has had disagreements with the U.K. government — which has to approve the sale — over treatment of a roughly $1.9 billion loan Chelsea’s parent company Fordstam Ltd owes to Camberley International Investments, a Jersey-based company that reportedly has links to Abramovich.
The discord is reportedly delaying the sale’s completion.
Abramovich, who purchased the team for $233 million in 2003, has agreed to waive the debt and contribute it to a charitable foundation. A spokesperson for Abramovich previously denied claims he wanted it to be repaid.
- Abramovich was sanctioned earlier this year for his ties to Vladimir Putin.
- The Russian oligarch has a say in the sale’s fine print despite not being able to profit from it.
But Sky News reported that Abramovich has not provided assurances that the money will go to charity, adding that he is refusing to accept a new sale structure proposed by ministers.
Abramovich Not Concerned
If Boehly’s purchase isn’t finalized by May 31 or the operating license isn’t renewed, the team risks not being able to play next season.