Almost three months of speculation was lifted within one statemen, on Wednesday morning as the UK Government approved the sale of Chelsea Football Club to the Todd Boehly and Clearlake consortium after receiving legal assurances that the £4.24bn deal will not benefit Roman Abramovich after the Russian was sanctioned in March.
And with Tuesday evening’s statement from the Premier League confirming they had approved the new owners too, all that is left now is for the club’s official announcement and for the club shop to reopen, if Todd can find the keys.
Given how the sanctions have impacted the club since March, a lot of business and movement is likely to take place very quickly as the new hierarchy hopes to make a positive impression early and put Chelsea back on the right path before the start of next season.
With that in mind, let’s try to predict three things that will definitely happen at Stamford Bridge following the news everyone connected to Chelsea has wanted for several weeks. With transfers, the club’s structure, contracts, current players and supporter involvement all to be resolved, life on the Fulham Road is about to get very interesting.
1. Kounde will be the first signing of the Boehly era
With the French defender spotted in London over recent days and the fact negotiations with Sevilla were someway down the line last summer, it is now expected Jules Kounde will finally become a Chelsea player in 2022.
Football.london understands Chelsea remain intent on signing the 23-year-old who has been in the Blues’ sights for several years. Kounde’s arrival would go some way to alleviating the stress over rebuilding Thomas Tuchel’s defence after the exits of both Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, with club captain Cesar Azpilicueta still linked with Barcelona.
Playing on the right side of the defence and possessing attributes that feel suited to Tuchel’s demands, Kounde can hopefully be the first of many shrewd additions in a vital summer window.
2. Figure out sponsorship deals
Whether it is feasible for the new owners to dispense of one shirt sponsor and negotiate a deal for a new one in rapid time for next season’s kit feels like a steep task. However, since Three announced their decision to suspend their sponsorship with Chelsea on the day Abramovich was sanctioned back in March, supporters’ feelings towards the mobile company have been pretty negative.
When Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003, it only took two seasons for the Blues to change from Fly Emirates to Samsung. One would expect a new deal would be a way to signal a new vision, with Three’s deal set to expire in 2023.
3. Mason Mount and Reece James handed new deals
Arguably two of the club’s most valuable and consistent players since 2019, securing the futures of two homegrown gems would be a major sign of their place in Chelsea’s present and future. And given their meteoric rise, it is only right they become some of the squad’s highest earners, with reports emerging that Mount could double his weekly wage with a new deal once the takeover is formally completed.