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Premier League investigates secret Eto’o & Willian Chelsea transfer payments from Abramovich era

The Premier League is investigating transfer-related payments made by Chelsea during the Roman Abramovich era. 

They are scrutinising financial transactions around the signings of Willian and Samuel Eto’o, according to The Times.

The transfers of Brazilian winger Willian and Cameroonian striker Eto’o, both signed from Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala in August 2013, have come under scrutiny after being flagged by Chelsea’s present owners. 

Financial records have raised suspicions of payments being made to ‘Russian entities’ separate from the transfer fees.

Willian was initially acquired by Anzhi for £30 million from Shakhtar Donetsk in January 2013 but was sold to Chelsea for the same amount that August. 

Eto’o joined Chelsea on a free transfer a day later. Importantly, there is no indication that either player knew about these alleged additional payments.

The Premier League’s investigation extends to the millions of pounds transferred by Chelsea between 2012 and 2019 to secret offshore entities

These undisclosed payments came to light during the due diligence process undertaken by the Todd Boehly-Clearlake Capital consortium during their acquisition of the club from Roman Abramovich last year. 

Chelsea reported these concealed payments to the Football Association, the Premier League and UEFA.

In addition to the offshore payments and funds transferred to Russian entities, at least one payment made to a player’s family is currently under scrutiny. 

Sources with knowledge of the case have revealed that payments to at least six offshore entities have been identified, raising questions about their connection to player transfers. 

These alleged payments are worth millions in Pounds and were not included in the club’s annual financial reports to the FA, Premier League and UEFA, constituting a breach of their regulations.

The rule breaches occurred under Chelsea’s previous ownership, but the Blues remain subject to potential sanctions from the Premier League, including substantial fines and even points deductions. 

However, Chelsea’s present owners will hope to avoid these potential consequences, having reported these irregular payments. 

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