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Chelsea to have new Clearlake chairman from 2027 but identity of Todd Boehly successor unclear

Chelsea owner Tood Boehly looks on following the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge on March 11, 2024 in London, England
Todd Boehly has come in for much criticism since become Chelsea chairman - Getty Images/Chris Brunskill

Chelsea will have a new Clearlake Capital chairman in 2027, with the group not put off by the criticism and scrutiny Todd Boehly has faced in the position.

The switch is not said to represent a vote of no-confidence in the work Boehly is doing, but Clearlake, who are owned by Behdad Eghbali and Jose E Feliciano, have already decided to take up the post at the earliest possible opportunity.

Telegraph Sport first revealed the extraordinary written agreement that allows Chelsea’s chairmanship to be passed between Boehly and Clearlake every five years after their 2022 takeover.

Boehly has become a public punchbag in his position as chairman, but has no intention of standing down early from the role, in which he still has three years left to run.

Similarly, Clearlake, the private equity firm, have not been put off the chairmanship by the criticism Boehly has faced and will install their own man into the position in 2027.

It is not yet decided whether or not that will be Eghbali or Feliciano, who are co-controlling owners of Chelsea with Boehly, or whether they will appoint somebody else as their Clearlake chairman.

Supporters, who have been critical of the Boehly-Clearlake ownership, may not be happy about further uncertainty over exactly who will be chairman in 2027, but Clearlake and Boehly both insist their commitments are long-term.

Behdad Eghbali of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Sheffield United at Stamford Bridge on December 16, 2023 in London, England
Behdad Eghbali co-owner of private equity firm Clearlake, which owns Chelsea alongside Boehly - Getty Images/Crystal Pix

Sources have confirmed that the chairmanship will pass to Clearlake and that the position is still seen as a privilege and an honour, despite the criticism that has been aimed at Boehly from pundits and some supporters.

The move to install their own chairman is not seen as a criticism of Boehly’s work, but does underline the fact that Clearlake intend to do things differently when their chance comes.

Boehly’s next chance to reclaim the chairmanship will come in 2032 and the current expectation is that he will do so, as per the terms of the takeover agreement.

Telegraph Sport revealed that Clearlake Capital, the private equity fund managed by Eghbali and Feliciano, owns 61.5 per cent of the shares and voting rights in the UK-based company behind Chelsea, 22 Holdco.

The remaining 38.5 per cent is split equally between Boehly, Hansjorg Wyss and Mark Walter, meaning each man owns a stake of just over 13 per cent.

Boehly took the chairmanship first, with his group holding ‘common stock’, which means he faces greater financial risk, while Clearlake holds ‘preferred stock’, which comes with more protection.

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