Chelsea owners extend investment in football with purchase of stake in Strasbourg

Chelsea owners extend investment in football with purchase of stake in Strasbourg

Chelsea’s owners BlueCo have agreed to buy a stake in Ligue 1 club Strasbourg to take a significant step forwards in their plans for multi-club ownership.

The consortium, which purchased the Premier League club in May last year, are become new shareholders “subject to a consultation process with the relevant employee representative bodies”.

A statement said: “The shareholders of Racing Club de Strasbourg Alsace today announced an agreement with BlueCo, the consortium which purchased Chelsea FC in May 2022.

“The agreement would mark a new chapter in Racing’s history as the ownership consortium commits to accelerate sustainable investment in the club’s growth, including in the first teams and in the Academy, in continuity with the project implemented by Marc Keller, who would remain president of the club, supported by his current management team.

“Through its involvement and recognised expertise in sport, BlueCo plans to make an active contribution to the development of the model implemented by Marc Keller, first, financially, by providing capital that will enable investment in the men’s and women’s first teams, the Academy and across the club.

“It also plans to provide Racing access to broad resources and collaboration. Racing’s teams would be able to exchange advice and expertise with Chelsea and the other teams which the owners are involved with.

“In accordance with Professional Football League regulations, the project was presented today to the Direction Nationale du Contrôle de Gestion (DNCG), whose assessment is expected in the coming weeks.”

BlueCo believe the “strategic investment” would enhance their presence in European football.

A statement said: “It is an honour for us to be part of this historic club. We are committed to preserving the heritage of Racing and are focused on working closely with Marc and his management team to continue the excellent work they have been doing.

“This strategic investment would further our presence in European football, alongside our ownership of Chelsea. We believe it would create huge opportunities to share knowledge and expertise.”

Former France international Keller, who had spells as a player with English sides West Ham, Portsmouth and Blackburn, became Racing’s president in June 2012 with the club in serious danger of liquidation.

It has since returned to Ligue 1 and established itself as a fixture, and played in the Europa League in 2019-20 after winning the League Cup.

Keller said: “The aim is to enable Racing to be even more ambitious and competitive in a football world that has changed considerably, particularly with the massive arrival of foreign investors in many French clubs and the evolution of Ligue 1 from 20 to 18 clubs.

“The arrival of the consortium should enable us to take this step forward.”

The news was confirmed as Chelsea found themselves thrust into the spotlight as a series of players, led by World Cup winner N’Golo Kante, prepare to leave the club for the riches of Saudi Arabia amid speculation that the clear-out could ease their Financial Fair Play worries.

The Blues, under chairman Todd Boehly, have invested in excess of £650million in new signings since the takeover was completed.

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