Chelsea could be handed a points deduction after leaked files revealed a string of payments that may have breached strict football rules, according to reports.
The investigation revealed a series of payments worth tens of millions of pounds across a decade during Roman Abramovich's tenure as club owner.
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 investigations have been looking into dealings under the club's former ownership.
The transactions in question, according to The Guardian, were 'routed through offshore vehicles belonging to Abramovich' and seem as though they were made to benefit Chelsea or individuals around the club.
Chelsea could be handed a points deduction after leaked files revealed a string of payments that may have breached strict football rules during Roman Abramovich's ownership
One incident related to Eden Hazard's move from Lille to Chelsea back in 2012
Other payments appear to have been connected to the purchase of the players Willian and Samuel Eto'o, which was initially revealed last month.
The Premier League and the Football Association are already investigating Chelsea's finances, while UEFA already fined the club £8.6m after the current owners reported that 'incomplete financial information' was submitted during Abramovich's tenure.
However, the new document leak now raises fresh questions over whether Abramovich continuously undermined financial fair play rules.
The first incident, which was revealed as part of an international investigation known as the Cyprus Confidential, showed that on July 18th 2017, an Abramovich-owned company called Conibair Holdings signed an agreement with Federico Pastorello, an Italian football agent with reported close connections to Antonio Conte.
The Guardian claim that Conibair agreed to pay Pastorello £10m for a 75% stake in Excellence Investment Fund (EIF).
Later that day, Chelsea confirmed the appointment of Conte as head coach and revealed that the Italian had signed a new £9.6m-a-year contract.
Another incident revealed as part of the investigation related to Eden Hazard's £35m move from Lille to Chelsea back in 2012.
Hazard's move to west London came off the back of tense negotiations with Chelsea officials and agent John Bico-Penaque - who reportedly demanded £6m in commission.
And, in March 2013, documents suggest that BVI-based Leiston Holdings - a company owned by Abramovich - agreed to pay £6m (€7m) to a Dubai-based company called Gulf Value FZE for 'advisory services […] related to […] sport research and consultancy'.
The new document leak now raises fresh questions over whether Abramovich continuously undermined financial fair play rules
On July 18th 2017, an Abramovich-owned company signed an agreement with Federico Pastorello, an Italian football agent with reported close connections to Antonio Conte (pictured)
It's claimed that the contract was signed on the company's behalf by Bico-Penaque and it remains unclear as to whether the payment was declared to footballing authorities.
According to The Guardian, leading sports lawyers have claimed that some of the payments 'may have broken rules including Premier League and UEFA regulations on financial fair play (FFP)'.
Football finance expert Kieran Maguire said: 'If there is proof that the club has used third party transactions to circumvent the profitability and sustainability rules then sanctions would be either financial or a points deduction.
'The latter is more likely as any commission investigating a club's circumstances will want to put out a deterrent that dissuades others from repeating such behaviour.'
It was revealed last month that a Premier League investigation into Chelsea's transfer dealings during the Abramovich era is looking at secret payments made by the club when they signed Willian and Samuel Eto'o.
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.
Chelsea's current owners led by Boehly, reportedly flagged the transfers while they were in the process of purchasing the club from Abramovich.
The transfer of Brazilian winger Willian to Chelsea in 2013 is reportedly being scrutinised
Samuel Eto'o's arrival at Stamford Bridge from Anzhi Makhachkala is being looked into as well
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 were 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.
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