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Monday, July 15, 2024

Chelsea Owner Adds Another Soccer Club To Growing Portfolio

  • Boehly-led BlueCo looks to build portfolio of clubs around the world
  • Fans of Ligue 1's Strasbourg protest equity deal
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Chelsea FC owner Todd Boehly has taken the next step in his attempt to build a multiclub portfolio in soccer by acquiring a majority stake in France’s Racing Club de Strasbourg.

Boehly — the American businessman who is also part of the ownership groups of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Lakers, and Sparks, as well as ticketing company Vivid Seats — acquired the stake through his BlueCo consortium in a deal pegged at about $82 million. 

Strasbourg competes in Ligue 1, finishing most recently in 15th.

The effort is a start toward replicating the global portfolio held by City Football Group — parent of 13 clubs including English treble winners Manchester City and Major League Soccer’s NYCFC — as BlueCo looks for additional tools to aid Chelsea’s development.

“This strategic investment would further our presence in European football,” said a statement from BlueCo, which is now said to be scouting other potential club acquisitions on both that continent and South America.

But Boehly’s entry has been anything but well-received. Chelsea’s 12th-place finish in the Premier League last season sparked widespread fan outcry and a rare freeze on ticket prices. In July, the turbulent Boehly era will also see the arrival of the club’s fifth manager in less than 10 months.

The negative press has traveled, too: Strasbourg fans have taken to local streets holding “Boehly Not Welcome” banners.

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