Chelsea’s anti-Glazer clauses: New owners ‘will be prevented from paying dividends or selling shares for a DECADE in a bid to avoid controversy that has hampered Manchester United’

  • Chelsea’s prospective new owners ‘have been given a series of new conditions’
  • They ‘will not be allowed to pay dividends or sell shares for their first decade’
  • It is said the measures are to avoid controversies Man United have suffered
  • A Todd Boehly-led consortium are still the frontrunners to take over at Chelsea 

Chelsea‘s mega-rich new owners will be prevented from paying dividends, selling shares or taking management fees for a decade in a bid to avoid controversy that has hampered Manchester United under the Glazer family, according to new reports.

A Todd Boehly-led consortium are in advanced talks to buy Chelsea in a £4billion takeover, but it has now been claimed that part of the discussions surround an unprecedented series of conditions that they will be forced to adhere to.

Sky News report that, in a bid to avoid following the path that Manchester United have trodden since their 2005 takeover, the Blues’ new owners will be banned from paying dividends until at least 2032.

It has been reported that, on top of the dividends rule, they will also be ‘barred from paying management fees and selling shares in the club, while also agreeing to strict limits on the levels of debt they can take on’.

One insider is claimed to have referred to the measures as ‘anti-Glazer clauses’, designed to ensure the financial safety of Chelsea in a post-Roman Abramovich era.

Todd Boehly's consortium are currently in advanced discussions to buy Chelsea

Todd Boehly’s consortium are currently in advanced discussions to buy Chelsea

There will be clauses in the deal to avoid controversies that have hampered Man United

There will be clauses in the deal to avoid controversies that have hampered Man United

When the Glazer family took over at Old Trafford in a £790million deal in 2005, the club were saddled with an expensive debt known as ‘payment-in-kind notes’, and there have been protests about the owners for years.

United were floated on the New York Stock Exchange 10 years ago, and the Glazers have taken hundreds of millions of pounds in dividends and from selling shares during their controversial tenure.

The sale of Chelsea has been a highly unusual process, sparked by sanctions on Abramovich by the UK government in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

All of the consortiums bidding for the club have committed a minimum investment of £1billion in the stadium, academy and women’s teams.

Interestingly, the Boehly-led consortium are majority-funded by private equity firm Clearlake Capital, who have a financial imperative to deliver returns to their investors.

It could, therefore, be a sticking point that they will be forced to agree to not take dividends for a decade.

The Glazer family have taken millions of pounds from the club in dividends and sold shares

The Glazer family have taken millions of pounds from the club in dividends and sold shares

The future of Chelsea is still up in the air following sanctions on owner Roman Abramovich

The future of Chelsea is still up in the air following sanctions on owner Roman Abramovich

There were reports earlier in the week that the deal had been thrown into doubt after Abramovich set about seeking the repayment of his £1.5bn loan to the club.

The Russian oligarch has since refuted those claims, and insisted he had ‘not increased the price at the last minute’ despite all three shortlisted bidders being told of a demand for an extra £500m last week.  

In a statement, Abramovich’s spokesman said: ‘Following sanctions and other restrictions imposed on Mr Abramovich by the UK since announcing that the club would be sold, the loan has also become subject to EU sanctions, requiring additional approvals.

‘That means that the funds will be frozen and subject to a legal procedure governed by authorities. These funds are still earmarked for the Foundation. The government are aware of these restrictions as well as the legal implications.’

Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK government in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine

Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK government in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Manchester United fans regularly protest against their owners, the Glazer family

Manchester United fans regularly protest against their owners, the Glazer family

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