Report: UK government 'happy' with preferred bidder chosen by Chelsea and Raine

The UK government has no say over who will eventually own Chelsea, but they are “happy” with the consortium led by Todd Boehly, according to CBS Sports.

Boehly’s group have reportedly entered a five-day period of exclusivity to sign a purchase agreement after being chosen as the preferred bidder by Chelsea and Raine Group.

Such an agreement does not guarantee a sale, but this puts the LA Dodgers co-owner and his partners as the clear favourites in the race to buy the club.

If successful, Boehly will reportedly hold a minority stake while private investment firm Clearlake Capital will become the majority owner.

However, the former will reportedly be in charge of day-to-day operational control, although Clearlake co-owner Eghbali is expected to be handed an active director role.

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There are a few more steps needed to conclude the sale.

Chelsea need to apply for a new licence for the sale to the UK government before Boehly’s bid goes through the Premier League’s Owners’ and Directors’ Test.

The government already stated that they will not allow any proceed from the sale to go to any sanctioned individual or, in this case, Abramovich.

Chelsea’s reported proposal to restructure the sale terms to allow the £1.6 billion loans to be repaid to Abramovich could put the sale process in jeopardy.

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Aside from this issue, the only possible government-initiated delay in the process would be a logistical one.

The government does not have any say in the outcome of the race to buy the club as long as no sanctioned individual is involved in the bid.

However, the government is reportedly happy with Boehly’s group.

The involvement of Tory peer Danny Finkelstein and former chancellor of the exchequer George Osbourne in the consortium bid also helps their case, CBS Sports claims.

The report also mentioned that sources at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) believe the government may have to grant two licences; one to sign off the sale and the other one to release the funds.

An additional licence will reportedly not take extra time unless it remains unclear where the funds are going at the time of the sale.

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A Chelsea fan who loves football statistics. Studied sports journalism at the University of Sunderland.