October 3, 2023

Chelsea is close to kickstarting their multi-club project by purchasing a stake in Strasbourg. The deal would be a significant boost for the Premier League side’s owners, Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital, who have been looking for suitable clubs to purchase since last summer.

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Boehly has spoken about a multi-club model being a way “we can show pathways for our young superstars to get on to the Chelsea pitch while getting them real game time”.
Chelsea has looked at several clubs in France, Belgium, Portugal, and South America. There have been talks with Bordeaux but sources indicated an agreement with Strasbourg made more financial sense. The size of the proposed stake is unknown but discussions are progressing smoothly and it is understood the price would depend on whether Strasbourg avoids relegation from Ligue 1. They are five points above the bottom four with three games remaining.

Chelsea, who are also believed to be looking at buying a stake in the Portuguese club Portimonense, stepped up their interest in Strasbourg after Boehly was unable to reach an agreement with Bordeaux’s president, Gérard López. Boehly has conducted productive discussions with Strasbourg’s president, Marc Keller, in recent months. Chelsea, who also looked at Lyon and Sochaux, initially wanted a full purchase but was advised they would have to settle for partial ownership.
There are 11 shareholders at Strasbourg and Keller, whose 27% stake is the biggest, has been attentive to their concerns. Keller, a former Strasbourg player and a frontrunner to become the next president of France’s football federation, has a visceral connection to the club. He has rebuilt the Ligue 1 side since becoming president in 2012 and is eager for the club to retain its identity.
Gaining influence at Strasbourg would offer Chelsea a footing in a country that produces some of the best players in the world. They would also have a means of giving experience to young players who could be brought to Stamford Bridge at a later date. Chelsea were approached for comment.

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The practice has been followed by Manchester City’s parent company, City Football Group, which has several satellite clubs around the globe. Brighton’s owner, Tony Bloom, controls the Belgian club Union Saint-Gilloise. Kaoru Mitoma, who has been exceptional for Brighton this season, thrived on loan at Union SG last season.
Uefa’s president, Aleksander Ceferin, recently hinted at relaxing restrictions on clubs with the same owner participating in the same European competitions. A change in the regulations would be a boost for Chelsea’s proprietors.


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