Chelsea could be punished by the Premier League over payments made during the Roman Abramovich era, which may have breached Financial Fair Play rules.
A recent investigation by the Guardian has uncovered a number of payments worth “tens of millions of pounds” made over the space of a decade, diverted through Abramovich’s offshore vehicles.
Beneficiaries of said payments, according to the report, include Eden Hazard’s agent as well as an associate of 2017 Premier League title winner Antonio Conte.
It also allegedly involves the transfer dealings for Willian and Samuel Eto’o.
The files were voluntarily surrendered by Chelsea’s new owners after they found “incomplete financial information” relating to Abramovich’s tenure, which earned them an £8.6 million ($10.7 million) fine from UEFA.
In the long term, however, the ramifications could be more significant. The Guardian continues that if said payments are found to be in breach of their football rules, such as FFP, then the Premier League could impose strict punishments on the Blues, including a potential points deduction.
Chelsea won 18 major trophies during Abramovich’s tenure, which was the most of any English club during that 19-year period.
That haul includes five Premier League titles, five FA Cups, three League Cups, two Champions Leagues, two Europa Leagues, two Community Shields, a FIFA Club World Cup, and a UEFA Super Cup.
The Premier League’s investigation is ongoing, meaning the payments must first be found to be in breach of FFP before punishments are decided.
With the threat of a potential deduction, Mauricio Pochettino’s Blues will look to put some more points on the board after the international break when they take on injury-hit Newcastle on November 25.