Chelsea FC owner Todd Boehly and his Clearlake Capital consortium have acquired a majority stake in Ligue 1 club RC Strasbourg.
The reported figure revealed to acquire Strasbourg is within the region of £65m making the club to join BlueCo – the primary owning organisation – alongside Chelsea as part of Boehly’s multi-club network vision.
Marc Keller, President of Strasbourg, will retain his position as the French team is now expected to receive fresh investment from BlueCo to help them improve on its 15th place finish last season.
It is also being reported that as a part of BlueCo, Strasbourg will be run by Keller separately from Chelsea, but will have opportunities to receive expertise and potential youth players from the English club to help them develop.
“This is an important day for Racing Club Strasbourg. It’s something my shareholder friends and I have been thinking about for the past two years,” said Keller.
“We’ve built a club that’s healthy at every level and well managed. Although there was no financial urgency, we were aware that we had reached the ceiling of our model.
“If we wanted to continue driving Racing forward and projecting it into a new dimension, we necessarily needed to be accompanied by a solid structure capable of supporting our development and our ambition.”
It was reported by L’Équipe in early March of Boehly and Clearlake’s interest in acquiring a share in Strasbourg, holding talks with Keller that month.
The deal now being finalised means that Boehly’s multi-club network is in full swing and was even looking at clubs across Belgium, Brazil and Portugal to add to his portfolio.
BlueCo is seemingly following in the multi-club model as Manchester City’s primary owning organisation, City Football Group, who not only own the English and European Champions, but also up to 10+ clubs across the world, including New York City FC, Melbourne City FC, Mumbai City FC and more.
Speaking on plans to own several other football clubs following the purchase of Chelsea, Boehly commented: “We’ve talked about having a multi-club model. I would love to continue to build out the footprint. There are different countries where there are advantages to having a club.
“Our goal is to ensure pathways for our young stars to get on to the Chelsea pitch while getting them real game time. To do that is through another club in a really competitive league in Europe.”
Multi-club models have been a controversial business activity in football as UEFA have already outlined regulations in place so that clubs owned by the same entity are not allowed to compete in the same European competition.
According to a report by The Financial Times, UEFA stated: “The rise of multi-club investment has the potential to pose a material threat to the integrity of European club competitions, with a growing risk of seeing two clubs with the same owner or investor facing each other on the pitch.”