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U.S. investor completes $5.4bn Chelsea FC takeover

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Chelsea Football Club is under new ownership, with U.S. billionaire Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital behind the $5.4bn takeover

Signed, sealed, delivered. The Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital consortium have been chosen as the preferred bidder, after a lengthy sale process.

The Chelsea Football Club believes “the Board and the Boehly/Clearlake group have a shared vision for the future of Chelsea Football Club.”

Todd Boehly

The club announced the news after months of doubts and legal uncertainty because of Russian sanctions rules.

Former owner Roman Abramovich has now completed the sale and ended his 19-year reign of the company.

The west moved to sanction Russia and its people, including oligarchs living abroad, amid the war in Ukraine. 

Abramovich was then sanctioned by the UK Government, meaning the club operated within the constraints of the General Licence, until a new owner was found.

Roman Abramovich. Photo credit: The Sun

The sanctions also presented unique and unforeseen challenges to the sale process, and the selection was extremely thorough, with the club sifting through 250 bids.

In order to complete the transaction, the club needed approvals from all stakeholders and the U.K. Government. 

The money from the purchase will eventually go to a humanitarian charity to help the victims after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Abramovich will not benefit from the sale, despite pouring millions of his own wealth into the club. 

Holly is an anchor and reporter at Ticker. She's experienced in live reporting, and has previously covered the Covid-19 pandemic on-location. She's passionate about telling stories in business, climate and health.

Sport

Update on Brittney Griner’s Moscow appeal

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A Moscow regional court has officially set an appeal date of October 25 for American basketball star Brittney Griner

Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison in Russia for smuggling drugs into the country, arrested with less than 1 gram of cannabis oil in her luggage at Moscow’s International Airport back in February.

Details about the appeal hearing have not been released,

It is expected Griner’s team will argue she did not know the cannabis oil was illegal in Russia and that she was only carrying a small amount for personal use.

There have also been rumours that the U.S. is negotiating a prisoner swap with Russia, but it is not clear if Griner is part of those negotiations.

The U.S. has not confirmed or denied the rumours.

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Sport

Vigil held for the 125 people killed in stadium disaster

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Vigil held for the 125 people killed in Indonesia’s stadium disaster, as the nation mourns

Vigil held for the 125 people have been killed in a crush and riot at a soccer match in Indonesia.

Authorities believe it is one of the world’s worst stadium disasters. Now, the nation stops to mourn the lives that have been lost.

The tragedy unfolded in Malang, in the province of East Java. It followed home side Arema FC loosing 3-2 to Persebaya Surabaya.

East Java police chief Nico Afinta said frustrated Arema supporters invaded the pitch.

Officers responded by firing tear gas in an attempt to control the situation, triggering the crush and cases of suffocation.

Afinta claimed officers had been attacked and cars damaged. He said the crush happened when fans fled for an exit gate.

300 were injured, including 22-year-old Muhammad Rian Dwicahyono who said many friends had lost their lives “because of officers who dehumanized us”.

The head of one of the hospitals in the area treating patients told Metro TV that some of the victims had sustained brain injuries and that the fatalities included a five-year-old child.

On Sunday, Malang residents gathered outside the stadium to lay flowers.

As investigations continue, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has ordered the Football Association of Indonesia to suspend all games in the top league.

World soccer’s governing body FIFA has requested a report on the incident from Indonesia’s PSSI soccer association.

FIFA’s safety regulations say no firearms or “crowd control gas” should be carried or used by stewards or police.

East Java police did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether they were aware of such regulations.

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Crypto.com scraps $495m deal with UEFA Champions League

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Cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com has cancelled a five-year sponsorship deal worth $495million with the UEFA Champions League

Major cryptocurrency exchange platform Crypto.com has officially scrapped its deal with the UEFA Champions League.

The in-principle deal would have seen the crypto company take over as the sponsor from Russian state-owned energy company, Gazprom.

Gazprom’s contract was cancelled in March, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Crypto.com scrapped the deal because of regulatory concerns in the U.K, France and Italy.

The crypto exchange has previously been involved in sports advertising over the past year, with sponsorship into Formula One and the naming rights deal for the Staples Centre in Los Angeles.

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