Chelsea owners buy French Ligue 1 outfit Strasbourg

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  • Post published:June 23, 2023

Chelsea’s American owners have sealed a deal to take control of French Ligue 1 outfit Strasbourg.

“This agreement marks a new chapter in the history of Strasbourg as the consortium is committed to accelerating sustainable investments in the growth of the club,” the BlueCo consortium said in a statement.

“(This includes) the first team and in the academy, in the continuity of the project implemented by Marc Keller, who will remain chairman of the club, supported by his current management team.”

American businessman Todd Boehly and his consortium, Clearlake Capital of the United States, had a rough first year running Chelsea.

They fired coaches Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter and finished the season poorly with Frank Lampard in charge.

Despite spending over £500 million ($624 million) on new players in the first two transfer windows under the new owners, Chelsea finished in 12th place, their worst showing since 1994.

Mauricio Pochettino has since been hired as their new manager.

Boehly is a co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team, and the consortium also has a stake in the Los Angeles Lakers, a powerhouse of the National Basketball Association.

Last season, Strasbourg had their fair share of difficulties, as evidenced by their position two spots and five points above the relegation zone.

Only a year ago, in fifth place, that is an impressive improvement.

According to AFP, the American group has acquired nearly 100% of the voting stock in the Strasbourg club.

The full scope of the transaction was confidential, however.

After the acquisition of Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse, and Le Havre, the United States now owns Ligue 1’s Strasbourg.

“It’s an important day for Strasbourg,” said Keller.

“We have built a healthy, well-managed club at all levels.

“But we were aware that we had reached the ceiling of our model, and that if we wanted to continue to advance the club into a new dimension, we had to be accompanied by a solid structure capable of supporting our development and our ambition.”

He added: “I therefore welcome a new strategic investor, with whom we will accelerate the club’s ambition to build the Strasbourg of tomorrow.”

A source at the club said there “will be no affiliation with Chelsea”.

“There will be a common shareholder but separate sports departments. There may be collaborations but that will not be the priority.”

Fans were worried that after their team went bankrupt in 2011 and was relegated to the fifth division, Strasbourg would merely serve as a farm team for Chelsea.

“The new majority shareholders are investing in Marc Keller’s project to give him the means to progress,” added the source.

“If Strasbourg does nothing, the club will drop in the hierarchy. We must therefore take preventive measures today to allow the club to maintain its place.”