Boehly Eyes Smaller Clubs in Europe to Expand Chelsea’s Footprint

·2 min read

The ink on the purchase contract has barely dried, but Todd Boehly, the co-owner of Chelsea F.C., says he is ready to add to his soccer holdings, and is looking to buy smaller but competitive soccer clubs in Europe to secure player development and the success of his flagship English Premier League club.

“I think we’re going to be continuously adding resources,” Boehly said during a fireside chat at SALT NY, a biannual asset management conference. “I think we’ve been talked about having a multi-club model; I would love to continue to build out the footprint. And to me, the way to do that is through another club somewhere in a competitive league in Europe.”

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Boehly and Clearlake Capital paid $3.16 billion for the team and committed to spending another $2.21 billion on the 117-year-old club.

The billionaire businessman, who is also part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Lakers, said player development is the impetus for building a network of clubs. He said one of the problems Chelsea is facing is putting player development in other clubs’ hands when they loan their new talent, which is one of the revenue streams for the club. “Red Bull does a really good job—they’ve got Leipzig, and they’ve got Salzburg, both of which are playing in the Champions League,” he said. “They’ve figured out how to make that work.”

Since taking over control of Chelsea, Boehly has made significant changes to the club, most recently with the firing of coach Thomas Tuchel. The team also added new talent and star players to its roster in a spending spree totaling $289 million during the summer transfer season.

“It’s all about getting the right resources, making them collaborate, getting them organized,” Boehly said, when asked to address the skepticism around his ability to run the club. “It is thinking about how you run a global business at a local level.”

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