Few football fans had heard of Todd Boehly 18 months ago. Now, the Chelsea co-owner is firmly in the spotlight.
He became the face of the club’s takeover in May 2022, replacing Roman Abramovich in the hotseat at Stamford Bridge.
Abramovich was known for his ruthless streak during his 19-year tenure, sacking managers on a regular basis if they did not meet his expectations, and in that respect not much has changed since he left.
The Blues went through four different managers – including two interim appointments – in Boehly’s first season at the club last term.
Abramovich was also happy to splash the cash, just like Boehly. But the American has taken spending to another level in his first year in west London, splurging around £900million and breaking the British transfer record twice on Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo.
Todd Boehly became Chelsea co-owner in 2022, and has made a big impression in his first year
And he wants to make sure he is getting value for money, attending most matches and frequently going into the dressing room afterwards to speak to the players.
This is where he differs from Abramovich, who rarely watched games live, often saving his appearances for the big occasions such as Chelsea’s three Champions League finals in 2008, 2012 and 2021.
But what else do we know about his successor, Boehly? Mail Sport takes a look at how the 49-year-old became one of the richest men on the planet, and a leading figure in multiple sports.
Where was Boehly educated?
Boehly was born on September 20, 1973, and attended Landon School in Maryland, USA.
It was here that he appeared to get his first taste of sports, and he happened to be very good at one in particular – wrestling. Boehly won the Interstate Athletic Conference (I.A.C.) championships in 1990 and 1991.
He left a lasting impression at Landon, as they announced in 2014 that they now had a Boehly Family Wrestling Room in place to honour their former pupil.
His higher education came at College of William & Mary in Virginia, where he studied Business Administration in Finance. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 1996.
At this point, he also came across the Atlantic to study at the London School of Economics, dipping his toe into the UK lifestyle, and this led to him earning his first job at the banking firm Citibank.
How has he made his money?
After leaving Citibank, Boehly had further roles at Credit Suisse First Boston and J.H. Whitney & Company as he continued to build his business profile.
In 2001, he got his first major break, joining global investment company Guggenheim Partners.
It didn’t take long for him to make his mark as he was put in charge of their credit investing business. Guggenheim Partners, who were founded in 1999, are estimated to have more than $300billion of assets under management.
He later served as president, as he became one of the leading figures at the company and developed a close working relationship with Guggenheim CEO Mark Walter. The pair would go on to team up to invest in a number of sports.
Having worked his way up at Guggenheim, Boehly decided to buy some of his assets and start his own company, Eldridge Industries, in 2015.
Alongside Anthony D. Minella and Duncan Bagshaw, Boehly co-founded the holding company Eldridge, and was named CEO and chairman.
Thanks to his various business ventures, Boehly currently has a net worth of $5.3bn, and made it into the top 500 on Forbes’ rich list for 2023.
Boehly has teamed up with Guggenheim CEO Mark Walter (centre) to buy stakes in multiple sports teams
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What other sports is he involved in?
Boehly and Walter were key members of the takeover group that bought the baseball team Los Angeles Dodgers for $2bn in 2012.
The group of six men which included basketball legend Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson bought out Frank McCourt, with Boehly acquiring a 20 per cent stake in the team.
That was Boehly’s main sporting focus for the best part of a decade before he turned his attention to basketball and bought a 27 per cent stake in the Los Angeles Lakers alongside Walter in July 2021.
And then he moved onto football. In late 2021, Boehly tried to buy US women’s team Washington Spirit, submitting a $21m offer.
This fell short of a rival bid from American businesswoman Michele Kang, and Boehly withdrew his interest in January 2022. Kang is now the majority owner of Washington Spirit.
That did not deter Boehly, though, and just months later he came together with Walter, billionaire businessman Hansjorg Wyss and private equity firm Clearlake Capital to buy Chelsea.
In June, Boehly confirmed that BlueCo, the parent company he helped set up to buy Chelsea, had also acquired a majority stake in Ligue 1 side Strasbourg for £65m.
Boehly (right) was part of a group of six men, including Magic Johnson (third right) that bought LA Dodgers in 2012
Boehly missed out on buying US women’s team Washington Spirit to Michele Kang (above)
Has Boehly always been a big spender?
Boehly’s big-spending at Chelsea should have been expected given his track record with the LA Dodgers.
The US outfit had been struggling in the 2000s, but the takeover provided a drastic change in fortunes, and under Boehly and Co they have been the biggest spenders in baseball over the past decade.
This has translated to success on the pitch, with the team winning nine West Division titles during this period, and ending their 32-year wait for a World Series triumph in 2020.
The LA Lakers are also the NBA’s third-highest valued team, but are yet to build on their latest championship victory that came in 2020, a year before Boehly arrived on the scene.
Chelsea have also endured a difficult 12 months since Boehly took over, finishing 12th last season as he looked to drastically revamp the squad.
They have continued to make significant changes this summer, and Boehly certainly can’t be accused of not backing his managers. Whether it will work out in the long term remains to be seen.
LA Dodgers won the Major League Baseball World Series in 2020. The Commissioner’s Trophy was presented to Mark Walter following the historic victory
What’s his private life like?
It’s not all business for Boehly, who has a big personal milestone coming up. He will celebrate his 25th wedding anniversary with his wife Katie next month.
The couple met while studying at William & Mary College, with Katie achieving a BA in history.
They wedded on September 6, 1998, and have three sons named Nick, Zach and Clay.
Katie has been a full-time mother since Boehly started at Guggenheim in 2001, but does serve on the board of FACES (Finding A Cure for Epilepsy and Seizures) after taking up the position in 2017.
Although Boehly has spent billions on his sports team over the years, he has still saved plenty of money to invest in luxurious houses.
His family live in a stunning property in the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles, while he also owns homes in New York.
Boehly has three sons – Nick, Zach and Clay – with his wife Katie (right), who he’s been married to for almost 25 years
Does he care about fashion?
When Abramovich was at the helm, it was usually a pretty safe bet that he’d be sporting a suit while sat in his private box.
That has not always been the case with Boehly.
The American billionaire has opted for the casual look at times, which has included wearing a Chelsea scarf and woolly hat while also wearing jeans and a big coat like any regular supporter.
Perhaps he feels this will allow him to fit in, and it has certainly made him more accessible than Abramovich.
Boehly has been known to go for the casual look when attending games at Stamford Bridge
Boehly opted for a suit for Chelsea’s first game of the season against Liverpool last weekend
Fans felt confident enough to approach Boehly after one particular match in March when Chelsea faced Everton, with the co-owner declaring the 2-2 draw a ‘s*** f***ing game’.
They also made their feelings known by confronting Boehly when Chelsea slipped to a home defeat against Brighton the following month. It is hard to imagine something similar happening when Abramovich was in charge.
Boehly is clearly a successful businessman, though, and has gone with a slick suit on occasions as well.
That was the look he decided on for Chelsea’s first game of the season when they hosted Liverpool last weekend, and it will be interesting to see whether he sticks with that this year as he attempts to get the club back to challenging for silverware.