The takeover of Chelsea Football Club by the consortium led by Todd Boehly has been approved by the Premier League.
Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Boehly had already agreed a £4.25 billion ($5.2 billion) purchase of the Blues, with Roman Abramovich’s ownership tenure due to end after 19 years.
The London club was put up for sale before Abramovich was sanctioned over his links to Russian president Vladimir Putin.
After several rival bids were rejected, Chelsea agreed to a deal with a consortium that features Boehly along with Dodgers principal owner Mark Walter, Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss, and funding from private equity firm Clearlake Capital.
Last week, it appeared any sale was in jeopardy following disagreements between the UK government and Abramovich over the £1.5bn in debt owed to the 55-year-old Russian-Israeli.
A statement from the Premier League released on Tuesday evening read: “The Premier League Board has today approved the proposed takeover of Chelsea Football Club by the Todd Boehly/Clearlake Consortium.
“The purchase remains subject to the Government issuing the required sale licence and the satisfactory completion of the final stages of the transaction.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesperson earlier confirmed the Government had launched talks with “international partners” to help push the Chelsea sale across the line.
The Premier League statement added: “The Board has applied the Premier League’s Owners’ and Directors’ Test (OADT) to all prospective Directors, and undertaken the necessary due diligence.
“The members of the Consortium purchasing the club are affiliates of the Clearlake Capital Group, L.P., Todd Boehly, Hansjorg Wyss and Mark Walter.
“Chelsea FC will now work with the relevant Governments to secure the necessary licences to complete the takeover.”
Chelsea have been allowed to continue operating under a special government licence that expires on 31 May.
Uncertainty over Chelsea's future has already contributed to the exit of defender Antonio Rudiger to Real Madrid while Andreas Christensen looks set to join Barcelona, who are also targeting Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta.
Government sources are optimistic about a Chelsea deal being struck but said “it’s going to go down to the wire”.
“We now believe everyone will be ready to issue the necessary licences,” a source said. “The last remaining hurdle boils down to a number of final technical details that are being discussed with the club. It’s going to go down to the wire.”