Chelsea have raised $500m (£403.1) in ‘fresh investment’ from a private equity firm, according to the Financial Times. The London club are looking to use the money for two ambitious projects: upgrading their stadium and acquiring new clubs in a multi-club model.
The Blues have been one of the biggest spenders in the transfer market in recent years, splashing out over £1bn on new players in the last three transfer windows. However, they are also aware of the need to generate more revenue to sustain their success and comply with financial fair play rules.
The new investment, which comes from Ares Management Corporation, a US-based alternative asset manager, is not going to be used to buy new players. Instead, it will be split in two parts: one would go towards the stadium and another for buying new clubs.
Chelsea are still considering whether they would rebuild Stamford Bridge or build an entirely new stadium at Earl’s Court. The current 40,000-seater stadium does not generate enough money, the club believes. A new stadium could boost their matchday income and enhance their global brand.
Speaking of the global brand, Chelsea are also interested in expanding their presence in other markets by following a multi-club model. This means that they would buy stakes in other clubs around the world and create synergies between them.
This strategy has been adopted by other clubs such as Manchester City, who own or have partnerships with clubs in New York, Melbourne, Yokohama, Mumbai and others. Chelsea’s main backer, Roman Abramovich, has reportedly been influenced by his friend Todd Boehly, an American billionaire who owns a minority stake in Chelsea and a majority stake in French side Strasbourg. Boehly & Co. have also been linked with taking over Sporting Lisbon, the Portuguese club that produced Cristiano Ronaldo.
Chelsea hope that by investing in their stadium and multi-club model, they will be able to compete with the likes of Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid, who have more financial resources and bigger fan bases.