Recent revelations from a joint multi-media investigation point to possible shady financial dealings linked to the former Chelsea owner. Roman Abramovich. The findings suggest suspicious money transfers made through offshore companies, raising questions about compliance with Financial Fair Play rules.
The research, called ” Cyprus Confidential » and carried by media such as The Guardian and Le Monde, highlights the opaque financial flows involving various actors close to the Russian oligarch and the London football club. These shady transactions appear to have accompanied certain iconic player transfer deals.
Among the striking revelations, we highlight the case of the transfer of Eden Hazard. To facilitate this transaction, allegedly, Leiston Holdings, a company linked to Abramovich based in the British Virgin Islands, to an entity established in Dubai, in response to a request from the player’s agent, Joan Bico-Penaque. This type of operation raises doubts about the legality of transfer operations.
Another transaction examined by this investigation concerns the payment of one million pounds (or about €1.15 million today) by Leiston Holdings to the Association of Young Hopes of Bobo in Burkina Faso, formerly a club of Bertrand Traoréhired by Chelsea in January 2014. This payment, executed through a contract signed by the player’s brother, raises questions about the regularity of financial flows in the world of football.
In addition, the investigation points to important financial transfers – around 7 million euros during a period from 2005 to 2017 – to companies associated with Vladica Lemic. The latter, having played an advisory role to Abramovitch, is said to have played an important role in the signing of several big-name players for Chelsea.
Faced with these revelations, the London club reacted by denying any current involvement, stressing that these allegations relate to a period before the current ownership of the club and that the incriminating documents were not presented to Chelsea or any current members of the club