Chelsea ‘investigated over Willian and Samuel Eto’o transfers’, with Premier League looking into alleged ‘secret payments made to Russian entities’ under Roman Abramovich
A Premier League investigation into Chelsea’s transfer dealings during the Roman Abramovich era is looking at secret payments made by the club when they signed Willian and Samuel Eto, according to reports.
The former Blues pair completed their transfers to Chelsea in August 2013 from Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala and have been flagged for further investigation, as claimed by The Times.
Abramovich sold Chelsea to Todd Boehly last year in a £4.2billion deal after the government sanctioned the former owner in March following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
However, the Premier League have been looking into dealings under the club’s former ownership and the transactions regarding Willian and Eto’s arrivals at Stamford Bridge are now being looked into.
Chelsea’s current owners led by Boehly, reportedly flagged the transfers while they were in the process of purchasing the club from Abramovich.
Brazilian winger Willian joined Chelsea in a £30m deal from Russian team Anzhi Makhachkala 10-years ago after initially appearing set to join Tottenham.
Former Barcelona and Inter Milan striker Eto’o followed in the same transfer window after taking a £10m pay cut to be part of Jose Mourinho’s squad at Chelsea.
Financial records reportedly suggest that in addition to the transfer payments being made by Chelsea, there was further payments that may have been sent to so-called ‘Russian entities’.
There is no suggestion either player were aware of the associated dealings, however, their transfers form part of an ongoing investigation into the club under Abramovich’s reign.
Chelsea released a statement in response to the claims, explaining the payments aren’t in relation to any individual currently at the club.
Chelsea said: ‘These allegations pre-date the club’s current ownership. 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.
‘Chelsea FC’s ownership group completed its purchase of the club on May 30, 2022. During a thorough due diligence process prior to completion of the purchase, the ownership group became aware of potentially incomplete financial reporting concerning historical transactions during the club’s previous ownership.
‘Immediately following the completion of the purchase, the club proactively self-reported these matters to all applicable football regulators.
‘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.’