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Chelsea faced the looming threat of financial collapse in 2022 due to mounting pressures on the club before the takeover orchestrated by Todd Boehly’s BlueCo consortium.

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Under the ownership of Roman Abramovich, Chelsea encountered challenges stemming from sanctions imposed by the UK government following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Abramovich’s close ties to Vladimir Putin and the Russian government. While the club received a special license to maintain its sporting operations, restrictions were placed on ticket and merchandise sales as part of the asset freeze.

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As the Raine Group, tasked with overseeing the takeover process, worked towards transferring ownership from Abramovich to Boehly’s consortium, Chelsea found themselves in dire straits. Joe Ravitch, co-founder and partner of Raine, emphasized the crucial directive from UK officials to ensure that proceeds did not benefit Abramovich.

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Ravitch explained the unprecedented level of involvement they had in navigating the situation, highlighting the proactive measures taken to safeguard Chelsea’s future. Had the deal not been finalized in time, the club faced the possibility of liquidation, leading to catastrophic consequences. By strategically narrowing down potential buyers into four consortia and facilitating negotiations, Raine aimed to secure a deal that would benefit both a charitable foundation for Ukraine war victims and ensure continued investment in the club.

In Ravitch’s words, “All four groups, we felt, would be good owners.”

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