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Every word said after Chelsea owners buy majority stake in RC Strasbourg to begin multi-club project



Chelsea launched their multi-club project after agreeing to buy a majority stake in Ligue 1 side RC Strasbourg.

The agreement for Chelsea, which is reported to be worth €75 million (£65 million) for close to 100 percent ownership, to acquire the French club was confirmed on Thursday.

BlueCo have already set their sights on other clubs to purchase, with Todd Boehly previously admitting towards the end of 2022 that having a network of clubs will aid players’ development and pathways to the Chelsea first-team.

“We’ve talked about a multi-club model, and I would love to build out the footprint. I think there are different countries where there are advantages to having a club. Red Bull does a really good job, they’ve got Leipzig and they have Salzburg — both of which are playing in the Champions League. They’ve figured out how to make that work.

“You have Man City, which has a big network of clubs. The challenge that Chelsea has right now is that when you have 18 to 20 year-old superstars, you can loan them out to other clubs but you put their development in someone else’s hands.

“Our goal is to make sure we can develop pathways for our Chelsea superstars to get onto the pitch while getting game-time. For me, the way to do that is to get another club in a very competitive league, maybe somewhere in Europe.”

Here’s every word of the statement which confirmed the agreement for BlueCO to acquire RC Strasbourg.

Statement in full

The shareholders of Racing Club de Strasbourg Alsace today announced an agreement with BlueCo, the consortium that bought Chelsea FC in May 2022.

This agreement marks a new chapter in the history of Racing as the consortium undertakes to accelerate sustainable investments in the growth of the club, including in the first teams and in the Academy, in line with the project implemented by Marc Keller, who will remain club chairman, supported by his current management team.

“It’s an important day for Racing,” said Marc Keller, president of the Strasbourg club. “It’s a reflection that my shareholder friends and I have been carrying out for two years. We have built a healthy club at all levels and well managed. Even if there was no financial emergency, we were aware that we had reached the ceiling of our model, and that if we wanted to continue to advance Racing and project it into a new dimension, we necessarily had to be accompanied by a solid structure capable of supporting our development and our ambition. I therefore look forward to welcoming a new strategic investor, with whom we will accelerate the club’s ambition to build the Racing of tomorrow.”

BlueCo is committed to preserving the legacy of Racing and wishes to work closely with Marc Keller and his management team to continue the excellent work accomplished.

BlueCo shareholders said: “It is an honour for us to be part of this historic club. We are committed to preserving the legacy of Racing and to working closely with Marc and his management team to continue the excellent work they have done. This strategic investment would strengthen our presence in European football, alongside our stake in Chelsea. We believe it would create huge opportunities for sharing knowledge and expertise.”

Marc Keller, a former international player then club manager, became president of Racing in June 2012, when the club was threatened with liquidation for the second consecutive year. By uniting his team around him, he managed to take the club from the CFA to Ligue 1 in just five years, where he is about to start his seventh consecutive season, after winning a Coupe de la Ligue (2019) and participated in the Europa League. This spectacular comeback was built on three pillars: sound finances, stable governance and strong territorial roots.

The arrival of BlueCo marks the culmination of two years of reflection by the club’s managers and shareholders to open a new phase. “The objective is to allow Racing to be even more ambitious and competitive in a world of football which has changed considerably, in particular 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 allow us to take this step, continues Marc Keller, it is a question of setting up the conditions for a new ambition, of moving forward in continuity, relying on the bases which have made our success. I am proud, after eleven years of hard work with all those who have contributed to its success, to allow the club to pursue its ambition, with full responsibility. We do it for our supporters, for our partners, for our city and our region”

Through its involvement and recognised expertise in sport, BlueCo intends to actively contribute to the development of the model put in place by Marc Keller. Financially first, by providing capital that will make it possible to invest in the men’s and women’s first teams, in the Academy and in the club as a whole. It also plans to give Racing access to extensive resources and opportunities for collaboration. The Racing teams could exchange advice and expertise with Chelsea and the other teams in which the members of the consortium are involved.

The proposed transaction is subject to a consultation process with the employee representative bodies concerned.

In accordance with the rules of the Professional Football League, the project was presented today to the National Management Control Department (DNCG), whose evaluation is expected in the coming weeks.