Is Chelsea owned by Saudi Arabia?

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Is Chelsea owned by Saudi Arabia? – After N’Golo Kanté, Chelsea continues to send some players to Saudi Arabia. It is unusual when analyzing the relationship between Chelsea’s ownership and Saudi Arabia. Is this football club owned by PIF, the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia?

Club ownership is a hot topic, especially in the Premier League. In recent years, wealthy investors have been increasingly interested in joining top English football clubs, leading to some famous deals.

This has become even more apparent since the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia took over Newcastle in 2021. However, Newcastle is not the only club linked to the sovereign wealth fund of the Arab nation. Currently, questions are being raised about the relationship between Chelsea and Saudi PIF.

A thorough examination of that relationship has been intensified in the context of reports stating that some Chelsea players may be on their way to Arab clubs owned by PIF.

Who owns Chelsea?

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Todd Boehly is the head of the group that owns Chelsea and is a familiar name to millions of football fans. Boehly, a 49-year-old American businessman, is also a co-owner of the MLB team LA Dodgers. He represents a group supported by the investment firm Clearlake Capital and other wealthy partners, including Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss and American billionaire Mark Walter.

According to Forbes, Boehly has a net worth of approximately $4.5 billion. He is highly involved in various sports in the United States. This billionaire is a member of Guggenheim Baseball Management, the group that owns the professional baseball team Los Angeles Dodgers. He is said to hold a 20% stake in the team.

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In 2013, Boehly brokered a “blockbuster” deal between Time Warner Cable and the Dodgers to create SportsNet LA, a regional network broadcasting all LA Dodgers content.

Additionally, he holds a minority stake in the renowned NBA team LA Lakers and the women’s team Sparks. Boehly and Walter’s ownership group acquired a 27% stake in both teams.

Also read: Who Owns Chelsea Stadium?

Is Clearlake Capital owned by Saudi Arabia PIF?

Saudi PIF has financial interests in various companies and projects, including several sports-related companies, such as Newcastle and LIV Golf Tour.

The Daily Mail reported that PIF has “billions of pounds’ worth of assets managed by Clearlake,” although Chelsea sources have denied Saudi Arabia’s involvement when Clearlake acquired the club in 2022.

Journalist Ben Jacobs tweeted that “Clearlake and PIF have a great relationship,” although it contradicts Clearlake being owned by PIF.

Which football clubs does Saudi Arabia PIF own?

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Newcastle is the most prominent club under the ownership of Saudi Arabia PIF, but they are not the only ones. Saudi Arabia’s clubs such as Al-Nassr, Al-Ittihad, Al-Ahli, and Al-Hilal are also owned by PIF, with a 75% ownership stake.

PIF stated, “The transfer of these four clubs will open up various commercial opportunities, including investment, cooperation, and sponsorship in various sports. PIF’s ownership in the clubs’ companies accounts for 75% at each location, while their corresponding nonprofit organizations hold a 25% ownership stake in each club.”

It remains to be seen how much influence PIF will exert on the world of football.

Which Chelsea players are set to move to Saudi Arabia?

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N’Golo Kante can be seen as the “trailblazer” for some Chelsea stars moving to play in the Saudi Pro League, where superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is also playing.

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Kante has joined Al-Ittihad, while The Sun reported that his former teammate Hakim Ziyech could land at Al-Nassr to play alongside Ronaldo. Similar reports suggest that Romelu Lukaku is a target for Al-Hilal, while Al-Ahli is eyeing Edouard Mendy. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Kalidou Koulibaly could also join any of the Pro League quartet owned by PIF.

All these players could bring significant revenue to Chelsea and help the club escape the Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations. Conversely, the Saudi Pro League will elevate its status with the presence of a host of renowned stars.

Conclusion

In summary, despite speculation, Chelsea is not owned directly by Saudi Arabia or the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF). The club is owned by Todd Boehly and his group, with Clearlake Capital’s involvement. While there may be links between some Chelsea players and clubs owned by PIF in Saudi Arabia, the overall ownership structure of Chelsea remains separate. The relationship between PIF and Clearlake Capital has been subject to speculation but does not indicate direct ownership of Chelsea.

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