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  • Sports - Football - Transfers
  • Updated: May 09, 2022

LIFE: Todd Boehly, Chelsea's New Diplomatic Philanthropist Owner

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Oladimeji Balogun
Oladimeji Balogun

Oladimeji Balogun is a graduate of the University of Ilorin where he studied Microbiology, he is a w...

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Todd Boehly, the billionaire US businessman heading the consortium purchasing Chelsea in a 4.25 billion-pound ($5.2 billion) takeover from Russian Roman Abramovich after the UK government imposed a ban on the Oligarch.

On Saturday, the American attended Chelsea's football match against Wolverhampton Wanderers which ended 2-2 but a draw might not have been a satisfactory result given the brace from Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku gave the London club an edge, but better is a draw than a loss.

The 46-year-old from Virginia, who grew up a fan of Major League Baseball's Baltimore Orioles, was a key member of the ownership group that bought the Los Angeles Dodgers from Frank McCourt in 2012 for $2 billion – then a record for a North American sports team acquisition.

When Todd Boehly was asked to identify the key to his success in the boardroom, the American’s answer revealed a businessman who valued diplomacy above ruthlessness. ‘When I’m negotiating, the objective is not to get the best deal for myself but to make a deal that’s fair to all parties involved,’ Boehly told a school reunion in Maryland.

‘Most people try to wring every penny for themselves. That strategy earns them more money on one specific deal but it doesn’t build trust or long-lasting relationships.’

In the decade since Guggenheim Baseball Management – the investment group that also includes Mark Walter and Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson – took over a Dodgers team in disarray, the club have become perennial contenders, making the playoffs the past nine seasons.

They reached the World Series three times in four years, coming away empty in 2017 and 2018 before winning the title in 2020.

The turnaround, along with the revitalisation of Dodger Stadium, was fueled by a multi-million-dollar media deal and, under Boehly and his co-investors, the Dodgers have eclipsed the New York Yankees as the biggest-spending club in MLB.

Boehly and Walter each put up $100 million to buy the Dodgers while more than $1 billion came from Guggenhiem Partners insurance companies.

"There is only one Dodgers," Boehly said at the time. "It's not, 'Oh well, if you don't get this one, you can go get that one.'"

Steering the Dodgers out of their post-McCourt malaise hasn't been Boehly's only dive into turbulent waters.

In October, he became interim chief executive of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the group that awards the Golden Globes, as it dealt with the fallout from a Los Angeles Times investigation that revealed ethical lapses and a lack of diversity.

Boehly is known in the US for his philanthropy, having invested in his alma mater William & Mary as well as several medical charities. Among countrymen, however, he is perhaps most celebrated for his work with the Dodgers. Under Guggenheim’s management and with Boehly serving as a partner, the franchise’s World Series victory in 2020 was its first in 22 years. The TV deal he struck had been crucial to investing in the roster.

Boehly’s ambition had been realised. For, when asked what would constitute a successful ownership of the team, he said: ‘You’re not really asking me that, are you? The more World Series we win, the more valuable a franchise it is, right?’

Chelsea fans will hope he blends his diplomacy with similar bullishness.

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Oladimeji Balogun
Oladimeji Balogun

Oladimeji Balogun is a graduate of the University of Ilorin where he studied Microbiology, he is a w...

More From this Author

English Premier League 2021/2022 TABLE

English Premier League
No Teams P Pts
1 Manchester City 38 93
2 Liverpool 38 92
3 Chelsea 38 74
4 Tottenham Hotspur 38 71
5 Arsenal 38 69
Full Table

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Chelsea
Chelsea

Chelsea Football Club are an English professional football club based in Fulham, London. Founded in 1905, they compete in the Premier League...

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