CHELSEA were just days from going out of business before Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital’s takeover.

Joe Ravitch, the banker who oversaw the complex sale of the club to Boehly and Clearlake after Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK government, claimed there would have been “catastrophic consequences” had the deal not gone through when it did.

Ravitch, an American merchant banker who also worked on Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s investment in Manchester United, revealed Chelsea were on the brink of liquidation before the £4.25billion deal was finally approved in May 2022.

He told The Times: “If we hadn’t got the deal done by the time we did, Chelsea would have probably gone into liquidation.

“There would have been catastrophic consequences. We forcibly boiled the bidders into four separate consortia.

“We put the four groups together and we crafted what we hoped would be the best deal, which would maximise the value to the charitable foundation that was being set up [for victims of the war in Ukraine] and maximise investment in the club.

“All four groups, we felt, would be good owners.”

Boehly and his Clearlake Capital partners were selected as the preferred bidders, but things have not all gone to plan at Stamford Bridge since their takeover.

More than £1 billion has been poured into the playing squad over the nearly two years in charge while managers Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter have been sacked with Frank Lampard returning as an interim before Mauricio Pochettino’s appointment this season.

The Blues have reached one final, last month’s Carabao Cup defeat to Liverpool, under their ownership and are stuck in the middle of the Premier League table.

But Ravitch is backing Boehly – who could even be replaced as Chelsea supremo as part of a bizarre deal- to deliver “greatness” at Stamford Bridge.

He added: “Clearly since Todd took over there have been some player judgement issues, with regard to on-pitch performance.

“But he’s trying. He wants Chelsea to win.

“He’s one of the owners of the LA Dodgers and they won the World Series. They’re a fantastic competitor.

“He’s now one of the owners of the successful LA Lakers and I think he’ll help restore greatness to Chelsea too.” − Sun

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