Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel believes that Todd Boehly’s ambitions for the club will ensure the Blues can compete at the highest level. The German coach had lunch with the US businessman ahead of the FA Cup final, albeit in a relaxed environment among players and other staff members.
Boehly leads a group including Clearlake Capital, Mark Walter and Hansjoerg Wyss that are in the process of finalising their deal to purchase the club, having come to an agreement earlier in the month. Chelsea’s current licence to continue operating following Roman Abramovich’s sanctions is set to end at the end of May, with the sale expected to go through in ‘late May’.
Given the Russian owner’s significant outlay over the last two decades, there has been an understanding that the same level of output would not be able to continue in a new Chelsea era. While spending may be more measured, there has been the suggestion that a statement of intent could be made this summer.
The group are set to pay £2.5 billion for the club, with a further £1.75 billion earmarked for investments in the likes of Stamford Bridge, the Academy, the Women’s Team and Kingsmeadow, as well as Chelsea’s foundation. Tuchel believes such investment ensures that Boely will aim to drive the Blues to the very top. More conversations are expected between the pair in the coming weeks.
“He paid some money for it, so I don’t think he is keen to drop the ambition,” said Tuchel. “That would be a big surprise, so no, I don’t doubt this. We will share our opinion in more detail over the next weeks, and I am sure he is as ambitious to build a competitive Chelsea for the highest level.
“We had lunch together, but it was in the room where everybody was, like players and staff. He was very friendly, very open, and it was a very informal meeting over lunch.
“It was like half an hour, 40 minutes, so it was not too detailed. It was just to get a feeling and say hello, and we talked more about baseball and basketball, actually. It was not the moment, we will do this next week, the next weeks.”
That was a sentiment shared by Emma Hayes, who also spent some time with the prospective owner in the week leading up to her own FA Cup final outing, where the Blues defeated Manchester City. Hayes said: “I had lunch with Todd. He’s watched the girls train. I had a really lovely couple of hours with him.
“He was absolutely delightful, really passionate. He’s just a normal, down-to-earth guy who’s really passionate about Chelsea. He loves Chelsea. He’s ambitious, as we are, so it’s a perfect fit.”
Reports have suggested that there are doubts over whether the special licence will be awarded in time for the end of May with concerns over whether the government will receive the assurances they want over the destination of the £2.5 billion used to purchase the club.