New Delhi: Chelsea could face tougher sanctions after the Premier League launched an investigation into payments to a secret offshore company between 2012 and 2019.
Premier League to investigate
According to The Times, the club’s new owners uncovered a series of irregular transactions during the takeover process and informed the FA, Premier League and UEFA of their findings.
Despite possible rule-breaking during the Roman Abramovich era, the Blues could face stiff penalties of fines and deductions from the Premier League under a Clearlake Capital-backed consortium led by Todd Boehly.
Additionally, some of the offshore companies have turned out to be football agents and brokers, some believed to have ties to Russia, but who is behind the others? has not been clarified.
The development comes just over a week after UEFA closed an investigation into disagreements between Boehly and Clearlake that emerged last May. European football’s top governing body has fined Premier League clubs over £8.6m after revealing they had submitted “incomplete financial information” between 2012 and 2019.
The London club will not face any further penalties from UEFA, but will now await a decision by the Premier League’s own investigation.
Huge spending in Chelsea
Labor MP and Chelsea supporter Tony Banks was a rare skeptic when Abramovich bought Chelsea for £140m in July 2003.
“We need to look at his sources of funding and his track record in Russia to see if he is the right person to take over a football club in this country,” the Labor MP told the newspaper.
“I don’t like it at the moment.” In the end, in line with the broader environment of British elites accepting new Russian money, the Office of Fair Trade approved Abramovich’s takeover. Business and politicians have enthusiastically hailed Vladimir Putin as Yeltsin’s successor as Russian president, seeing it as an opportunity to entice the young and dynamic leader of the dormant economic giant.
“The money red carpet was rolled out and people were welcome to bring money into the UK,” said Tom Keatinge, director of the Center for Financial Crime Safety Research.
“I don’t think anyone was in the mood to question where this money is coming from.” Chelsea’s parent company FordStam’s financial statements show an initial interest-free loan of £224m after the takeover, but were not required to document the source of the funding. The company council filing only states that auditors KPMG believe “sufficient funds will become available to fund the company for the foreseeable future.”