Who is Ted Boehly, the American billionaire who bought Chelsea FC?
There was a new face in the director’s box at Stamford Bridge on Sunday as Chelsea hosted Tottenham in their opening match of the 2022-23 Premier League season. For nearly 20 years, Blue fans had grown accustomed to seeing Roman Abramovich’s largely deadpan figure hunched over in his seat in the VIP area, but on Sunday they saw Todd Boehly pumping the air when their side scored, the American mogul on the spot for Chelsea’s eventual 2-2 draw with Spurs. Boehly, which owns stakes in the LA Dodgers, LA Lakers and LA Sparksalso became chairman and co-owner of Stamford Bridge after a consortium involving Mark Walter, Hansjörg Wyss and Clearlake Capital made a successful bid to buy the club following Abramovich decision to resign following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Boehly and his associates filed a £4.25 billion ($5.2 billion) bid for Chelsea and the deal was approved last May, with Premier League, UK government and EU ratification duly followed. Of this expense, £1.75bn has been earmarked for investment in the stadium, women’s team, academy and the Chelsea Foundation.
Since Boehly was named interim chairman and sporting director, the club has spent €186m to add Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, Marc Cucurella, Carney Chukwuemeka and Gabriel Slonina to Thomas Tuchel’s side and remain in negotiations for Wesley Fofana, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Frenkie de Jong, who, if successful, could take Chelsea’s summer spending to around €300m.
Boehly’s business career
Boehly, 48, graduate of the London School of Economicsinitially worked for several major US banks, including Citibank, before joining financial services giant Guggenheim Partners in 2001 and later becoming its chairman.
In 2015, the father of three left Guggenheim Partners to create Eldridge Industries, active in the banking, insurance, real estate, technology, media, sports and catering sectors. Its portfolio of assets includes US music magazine Billboard, Bruce Springsteen’s catalog of songs and music rights, and Cirque du Soleil.
The acquisition of Chelsea was not Boehly’s first investment in professional sport. In 2013, he bought the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball franchise of Frank McCourt, current owner of Olympique de Marseille, as well as other investors including Walter and NBA basketball legend Magic Johnson.
Since then he has acquired an interest in the Los Angeles Lakers basketball teamas well as in the Sparks of LA WNBA Team.
His personal fortune is estimated at Forbes magazine at 4.5 billion dollarswhich ranks him 637th among the richest people in the world in 2022 by the American magazine.
Boehly who was an avid wrestler in his teens, also attempted to buy Chelsea in 2019 and he currently splits his life between Los Angeles and Connecticut.
Boehly issues statement ahead of Chelsea-Tottenham
Writing in the program notes ahead of the game against SpursBoehly sent a message to Chelsea fans outlining his vision for the club: “There is a simple mantra that guides us every day: we want to win, together, and make you proud. As one of the elite football clubs in the world, Chelsea are at the top of the game.
“We want to build on this remarkable history of success in Acquire quality talent within our senior, youth and women’s teamsexploring ways to improve the matchday experience – such as the Bridge and Kingsmeadow – and continuing our service to the community, including the vital work of the Chelsea Foundation.
“Today’s game is an opportunity to welcome our new signings to the Bridge for their time as Chelsea players. We have so much to accomplish together.