BY PAUL LAGAN
There is a buzz around the corridors of Stamford Bridge and the Cobham training ground right now after the successful 11th-hour completion of the sale of Chelsea to the American-based Todd Boelhy consortium.
That happened on Monday, just two days before the club faced the prospect of administration.
The UK Government had given the club until May 31 to get the sale sorted – their special license that allowed the club to function on a day-to-today basis would have expired on that day.
Had the £2.5billion sale not gone ahead, all hell would have broken loose. But just as previous owner Roman Abramovich stepped in to buy the club 19 years ago as Ken Bates was going to put the financially ailing SW6 outfit into administration, so, up came the Americans to save the day again.
Abramovich has since decided to recoup some of his lost £1.5billion by suing the European Union Council, who imposed sanctions on him as part of action against anyone deemed to be a close ally of Russia President Vladimir Putin.
Chelsea employs almost 800 people – ranging from senior management and heads of departments, right down to catering and vital administrative people, who are the glue that keeps the whole operation functioning effectively.
Each of them will be wondering what happens next. The club was unable to bring in revenue during its sanctioned period, so the reopening of the Megastore and the two hotels on site will be a welcome relief to those staff affected and should start to see a trickle of cash returning to the consortium’s account.
Fans are anxiously waiting to hear about season ticket renewals, which normally happens in April.
Will the Americans start their ownership of the club by freezing prices? What they do will determine their reputation with supporters.
While they have been unable to renew player contracts or sign new ones, the football board has been busy talking unofficially to agents and players. Replacements for Toni Rudiger (pictured) and Andreas Christensen, off to Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively, are well in hand.
On the women’s side, long-serving Drew Spence is due to decide between Spurs and Brighton as her next destination. The Kennington-born attacking midfielder, 29, played 223 times for the Blues since signing in 2008, scoring 49 goals.
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