Todd Boehly only completed a takeover of Chelsea last May as he replaced Roman Abramovich at Stamford Bridge and the American now appears to be edging towards another major deal.
Chelsea owner Todd Boehly is closing in on a deal to buy shares in French outfit Strasbourg as the American kicks off the next stage of his multi-club ownership plan.
The Blues’ chairman was reported to be in talks with representatives of the Ligue 1 outfit last month as he attempts to emulate Manchester City ’s current multi-club model. Strasbourg president Marc Celler confirmed to Les Dernieres Nouvelles d’Alsace: “So yes, I’m meeting people, from Chelsea and elsewhere, but nothing is done as it stands.”
He added: “The other shareholders and I have a sense of responsibility and will be careful regarding the profile of potential investors, whatever their nationality.”
Now, it appears that a deal is closer to completion. According to The Guardian, Boehly’s interest in acquiring the club has ‘stepped up’ with discussions apparently having intensified.
The American has appointed Tom Glick, Chelsea’s new president of business, to front talks over a deal with approaches for other French sides such as Lyon, Sochaux and Bordeaux all being rejected. The London side have also reportedly sounded out sides in Belgium and Portugal with super-agent Jorge Mendes consulted.
Chelsea stepping up their efforts comes after UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin previously hinted that a slight alteration to European laws could open the door for multi-club ownership. Under their current guise, clubs under the same ownership are not allowed to compete in the same UEFA competition – whether that be the Champions League, Europa League or Europa Conference League.
Those rules initially put Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s takeover of Manchester United in doubt given his ownership of Nice. However, Ceferin has suggested that those rules could be reviewed sooner rather than later with the precedent boosting Chelsea’s plans.
Speaking to The Overlap, Ceferin said: “We are not thinking about Manchester United only. We’ve had five or six owners of clubs who want to buy another club. We have to see what to do.
“The options are that it stays like that or that we allow them to play in the same competition. I’m not sure yet.
“We have to speak about these regulations and see what to do about it. There is more and more interest in this multi-club ownership. We shouldn’t just say no for the investments for multi-club ownership, but we have to see what kind of rules we set in that case, because the rules have to be strict.”
The current UEFA laws do not appear likely to immediately hamper Boehly’s deal for Strasbourg. Despite having secured a place in the Europa League play-offs in 2019/20, any hopes of a European return this season seem less than remote with the club just outside of the Ligue 1 relegation zone on goal difference.
However, a change in the rules would prevent any potential issues further down the line should the French outfit get back into European contention.