Chelsea set to acquire majority stake in Ligue 1 side Strasbourg

Chelsea is set to acquire a majority stake in Ligue 1 side Strasbourg. The deal, which is expected to be announced soon, has been met with protests from Strasbourg fans.

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Chelsea is set to become the latest Premier League side to adopt a multi-club model, following a deal to buy a significant stake in Ligue 1 outfit Strasbourg.

The Premier League club’s owners, Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital, are expected to purchase close to a 100% stake in the French club, with the deal reportedly costing around £65m.

The move comes as part of a broader strategy by Boehly and Clearlake Capital to create pathways for young talents to gain real game time and eventually make their way onto the Chelsea pitch. The acquisition of Strasbourg is seen as a significant step towards this goal, providing Chelsea with a foothold in a country renowned for producing some of the world’s best football players.

The deal is a culmination of efforts that began last summer, with Chelsea’s owners actively seeking suitable clubs to purchase. The initial expectation was that Chelsea would settle for a minority stake in Strasbourg, but further talks led to the current agreement. The exact size of the stake remains undisclosed, but it is understood to be close to 100%.

Strasbourg, which managed to avoid relegation from Ligue 1 last season, is seen as an ideal candidate for Chelsea’s multi-club project. However, the news of the investment has been met with protests from Strasbourg fans, with ultras displaying signs reading “Boehly, not welcome”.

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The multi-club model is not a new concept in football. Manchester City’s parent company, City Football Group, owns 13 clubs across six continents, allowing young players to gain experience at satellite clubs on loan. Chelsea’s move to acquire Strasbourg is seen as a step in a similar direction.

The deal has been facilitated by UEFA’s recent relaxation of multi-club ownership rules. Previously, clubs with the same majority owners were banned from competing in the same competition. However, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin hinted at a change in these regulations earlier this year, a move that would significantly boost Chelsea’s owners.

Despite the protests, the deal is expected to be announced imminently. Chelsea’s interest in Strasbourg was revealed last month, following unsuccessful approaches to Bordeaux, Lyon, and Sochaux. The club has also shown interest in Portuguese side Portimonense as a potential satellite club.

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