High school wrestling champ Todd Boehly has successfully navigated one of the most complex buyout deals in sports history.
The American, worth $4.5bn (£3.6bn) according to Forbes magazine, is now the de facto owner of Chelsea after the consortium he led won approval of the Premier League and that the government has issued a license authorizing the sale.
Boehly’s business interests are wide and varied. Through holding company Eldridge Industries, he has invested in the back catalog of Bruce Springsteen, while he has also invested in the company that owns the Le Pain Quotidien restaurant chain and Chuck E Cheese pizzerias in the States. -United.
He lives in Darien on Connecticut’s Gold Coast with his wife Katie and their children Nick, Zach and Clay.
Sports have played a big role in his life since high school. He attended the private Landon Boys’ School in Bethesda, Maryland, and helped the school’s wrestling team, nicknamed the Bears, become Interstate Athletic Conference champions in 1990 and 1991.
He left such a lasting impression that the school wrestling room was named after his family in 2014.
“Todd spent as much energy on the sidelines cheering on his teammates as he did on the mat,” his math teacher Steve Sorkin said at a ceremony marking a room’s nomination, as reported in a post on the site. School web. .
“How fitting that so many of his classmates traveled great distances to attend the dedication, exemplifying the spirit of brotherhood that is Todd’s trademark.”
Boehly then studied at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he met his future wife Katie, a classmate.
Academically, however, he struggled and asked for a pep talk from his former Landon math mentor, Sorkin.
“College overwhelmed me, my grades started to suffer and I started to languish. So I came back to Landon and spoke to Mr. Sorkin,” Boehly recalled in 2014.
“It was Sork’s idea to go and study at the London School of Economics. He said, ‘You need a redo, so go find it.’ It got me back in the right direction, and I’ll be forever grateful.
He worked at Guggenheim Partners until 2015, before founding Eldridge, headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Chelsea is by no means his first venture into sports ownership – he bought his 20% stake in Major League Baseball franchise, the Los Angeles Dodgers, a decade ago.
Since then he has invested in the Los Angeles Lakers, one of the most valuable teams in basketball or any sport, whose former stars include Magic Johnson, the late Kobe Bryant and Lebron James.
Boehly told Landon students in 2014 that honor, brotherhood, courage and character were “essential” attributes in life.
“I hope you stick with these causes because these are the things that will get you where you need to go,” he said.
Aware that some American owners, notably Manchester United’s Glazers, have been viewed with skepticism and suspicion by supporters, Boehly was keen to involve people with genuine links to Chelsea in the bid, including Times columnist Daniel Finkelstein and the music public relations specialist Barbara Charone.
Fellow wrestler Art Rosen said he asked Boehly for the secret to his success and was told, “When I’m negotiating a deal, the goal isn’t to get the best deal. for myself, but to make a fair deal for all parties involved.
“Most people try to take every penny. This strategy earns them more money on a specific deal, but it doesn’t build trust or build lasting relationships. »