Chelsea has made headlines in the Premier League over the last two years for its lavish spending on transfers. However, the Premier League opened up an investigation into two transfers from well before current owner Todd Boehly took over. These transfers occurred in 2013, and the Premier League and Chelsea identified payments went from the club to ‘Russian entities’ rather than a club.

The two transfers in question are for Chelsea’s acquisition of Willian and Samuel Eto’o. The club acquired the duo from Anzhi Makhachkala within two days of one another. Chelsea paid over $30 million for Willian while it received Eto’o on a free move. The investigation is part of Boehly and the current Chelsea ownership group’s due diligence process. The Times reported that Chelsea paid millions to secretive offshore accounts from 2012 to 2019. Also, there is a report that one player’s family received direct payments from Chelsea.

The investigation centers around the fact that the $30 million was not Chelsea’s only expense in the transfer. According to reports, Anzhi Makhachkala received the $30 million. Yet, there were separate payments to offshore Russian accounts. That would raise flags that go against the Premier League’s and UEFA’s transfer policy. UEFA has a five-year time bar on investigating transfers, which means it cannot investigate the payments Chelsea made. However, the Premier League can look as far back as needed to deal out any punishments.

The current Chelsea ownership group already agreed to a settlement with UEFA worth over $10 million to answer for Financial Fair Play breaches. Those breaches came from incomplete financial information from 2012 to 2019. Even though it happened in the Roman Abramovich era, Todd Boehly and company still had to pay.

Chelsea could still face sanctions from Premier League for faulty transfers

That could be the case again should the Premier League find more breaches regarding the transfers of Willian and Eto’o. The Abramovich regime was responsible for the transfers of the two. Still, Chelsea would have to answer for any breaches.

Roman Abramovich elevated Chelsea to new heights, but some of his moves behind the scenes are raising questions.
Roman Abramovich elevated Chelsea to new heights, but some of his moves behind the scenes are raising questions.

Roman Abramovich elevated Chelsea to new heights, but some of his moves behind the scenes are raising questions.

“These allegations pre-date the club’s current ownership,” Chelsea released in a statement. “They concern entities that were allegedly controlled by the club’s former owner and do not relate to any individual who is presently at the club.”

The club added that it is fully assisting the authorities. That way, it can ensure the club is clear of any financial fair play breaches.

“In accordance with the club’s ownership group’s core principles of full compliance and transparency the club has proactively assisted the applicable regulators with their investigations and will continue to do so.”

Chelsea accepted the settlement with UEFA over breaches of financial fair play to pay over $10 million. The club could face a similar fee because of this transfer with payments to Russian entities.

Issues still rising for Chelsea

The concern over the moves for Willian and Eto’o, both of whom are not on Chelsea’s books anymore, only adds to the issues at Chelsea. With the club still floundering in the bottom half of the table, Chelsea lost at home again this weekend. The Blues are not adding any revenue from European competition following their dismal campaign last season to help with these fines and lofted transfer fees.