Todd Boehly’s top five priorities as Chelsea owner as Americans edge closer to takeover

US billionaire Todd Boehly has won the battle to become Chelsea’s preferred bidder, but what should he prioritize if he takes over Roman Abramovich?

Todd Boehly is now Chelsea’s preferred bidder

Todd Boehly has moved closer to becoming Chelsea’s new owner after being confirmed as the club preferred bidder Friday.

The US billionaire, who is co-owner of the LA Dodgers and LA Lakers, overcame competition from two rival bids led by former Liverpool chairman Sir Martin Broughton and Boston Celtics owner Stephen Pagliuca. His consortium’s £3.5bn bid appears to have won the day, although there are still plenty of hurdles to clear.

One could arrive in the form of Britain’s richest man, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who has submitted a late bid of £4.25bn buy the club from Roman Abramovich. “We made an offer this morning,” Ratcliffe said. The temperature Friday. “We are the only British bid. Our motives are simply to try to create a very nice club in London. We have no profit because we earn our money in other ways.

For now, however, Boehly and his consortium, which includes Swiss businessman Hansjorg Wyss, are in charge. Now they are the preferred bidder, government ministers and the Premier League can be presented with their proposal. Once this takes place, the government can then issue a license allowing the sale.

Boehly is co-founder and president of Eldridge Industries and already has sports experience through stakes in baseball and basketball franchises, so this isn’t entirely new to him. But what would be his priorities at Chelsea if he took over from Abramovich in the coming months?

1 Stadium renovation

Stamford Bridge redevelopment is no easy prospect

US investment bank Raine Group has reportedly told bidders they must commit at least £1billion for future investment in the club. At the center of that figure is the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge, which is a key but particularly challenging issue for Boehly and its consortium.

The 41,837-seater stadium is much smaller than Chelsea’s Premier League rivals and expanding it isn’t straightforward. Full ownership of Stamford Bridge belongs to the Chelsea ground owners, not the club itself, which has complicated previous plans to expand the stadium’s capacity.

Boehly seems to embrace the issue. According to evening standard he engaged the services of property developer Jonathan Goldstein, spoke to former project manager of the derelict Abramovich redevelopment David Hickey and architect Janet Marie Smith, who has worked on many major stadium redevelopments in United States.

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2 Keeping Granovskaya

Marina Granovskaia has kept a low profile at Chelsea. She has never given a media interview and is rarely photographed except when posing with new signings or players who have renewed their contracts. But make no mistake: she is extremely important to the club.

The Russian-Canadian leader was brought to Chelsea by Abramovich when he arrived in 2003, having worked for oil company Sibneft from 1997. She has been his senior adviser for the past 18 years.

Granovskaia has earned a reputation as a savvy operator at Chelsea. So it’s no surprise that the last four bidders want her to stay under the new owner, according to Athleticism . Boehly may have some persuading to do, given her close relationship with Abramovich.

3 Reassuring Tuchel

Thomas Tuchel has been forced to keep calm and continue working with Chelsea as there has been a lot of confusion and stress behind the scenes over the past few months. Speaking last week, the Chelsea manager said he couldn’t wait for the process to be completed to have some certainty.

“That would be ideal, but you can’t pull the grass and it grows faster,” he said. “We wish but we have to face the reality and the reality is that at the moment the sanctions are still in place and the situation is not clear for next season. So we have been trying in recent weeks to focus on what we can influence and that will be the next game.”

Tuchel is a world-class manager who has done a brilliant job since joining in January 2021. Boehly needs to make sure he’s happy.

4 defensive reinforcements

Antonio Rudiger’s departure will leave Thomas Tuchel short of defense next season


Getty Images)

One way to keep Tuchel happy would be to ensure he has a well-stocked defense to work with next season. Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen are both leaving the club when their contracts expire on July 1 and these are considerable losses to handle, especially considering the wider context.

Thiago Silva is staying for another season, but is now 37 and cannot play every game. Club captain Cesar Azpilicueta could still leave after 10 years of service, with Barcelona wooing him, while youngsters Trevoh Chalobah and Malang Sarr can’t be too reliable.

Chelsea came close to signing Jules Kounde from Sevilla last summer and must sign players of his caliber in the offseason if they are to emerge unscathed on the other side of the takeover.

5 contract extensions

Rudiger and Christensen aren’t the only player contracts expiring soon. N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Marcos Alonso all have deals that expire in June 2023. Decisions need to be made on their long-term future at the club.

Meanwhile, key players must be bound by contracts to protect them from their rivals. Mason Mount is under contract until June 2024, while Reece James has a contract until June 2025. Both young England players have stood out this season – they need contracts that reflect their status.

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