And ten! The impending takeover of Chelsea will bring the number of Premier League clubs majority or partially owned by Americans to ten. Pushed towards the exit since the start of the war in Ukraine, the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich will sell his baby for the record sum of 4.97 billion euros. The sale to the American consortium led by Todd Boehly should be official by the end of the month.
American of German origin, Todd Boehly grew up in Virginia. He studied at the London School of Economics (LSE) before working respectively for Citibank and Credit Suisse in Boston. He then joined the investment bank Guggenheim Partners in 2001, of which he became CEO. He founded his own firm in 2015, Eldridge Industries, which holds shares in more than 80 companies in the world of sports, media, new technologies and real estate. His personal fortune is estimated at 4.2 billion euros.
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He bought the Dodgers from Frank McCourt
Boehly has gained a national reputation in the United States since 2012 and the acquisition of the historic Los Angeles baseball franchise, the Dodgers (MLB). Its former owner, a certain Frank McCourt (president of Olympique de Marseille), left club fans with very bad memories between 2004 and 2012, accumulating financial losses and poor results. Boehly then enters the scene, participating up to 20% in the takeover of the Dodgers in a group of investors which also includes the former glory of the Lakers Magic Johnson.
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In ten years at the head of the Dodgers, the new owners will bring the team back to the fore with nine appearances in the play-offs and above all a victory in the World Series in 2020, the first since 1988. It must be said that Boehly & Co have spared no expense since their arrival, spending huge sums to attract the best players. The team’s wage bill reached 270 million euros last year, the highest total in the league. The owners also injected $95 million in 2020 to renovate the stadium, Dodger Stadium.
Determined to invest in football
On paper, the management of the Dodgers is a success since beyond the sporting results, the club has tripled its income in 2021 to reach 534 million euros. The value of the franchise has also increased since the takeover in 2012, rising from 1.9 to 3.2 billion euros today. What is the problem then? The fact that the money invested by Boehly does not belong to him. The businessman is said to have taken out a loan of nearly a billion euros to acquire the Dodgers, an amount that he repays each year thanks to the results of the club. A dangerous way of doing things criticized by observers in the United States.
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Todd Boehly is definitely very connected with Los Angeles since the forties and an associate of his recovered 27% of the Lakers (NBA) in July 2021 for the sum of 1.17 billion euros. Boehly also owns shares in the city’s women’s basketball team, the Sparks (WNBA). Determined to diversify his portfolio by investing in football, the American entrepreneur had already tried to buy Chelsea and then Tottenham in 2019. More recently, he tried to recover Washington Spirit, a new women’s football franchise in the US (NWSL), before to withdraw its offer.
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