Pochettino’s transfer plans could be impacted by potential Chelsea points deduction
Chelsea could face a potential Premier League points deduction after reports emerged alleging of possible Financial Fair Play (FFP) breaches.
The investigation, launched by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) and Germany’s Paper Trail Media, has uncovered a trail of alleged payments over a decade. These payments are reportedly ‘routed through offshore vehicles’, with them thought to be for Chelsea’s benefit during the Roman Abramovich’s time at the club.
It’s said that ‘four leading sports lawyers’ have told The Guardian that some of the payments may have broken both Premier League and UEFA regulations. Those who benefited from the payments are alleged to be the agent of Eden Hazard and an associate of Antonio Conte among others.
The revelation comes after the signings of Willian and Samuel Eto’o came into question. A company, owned by Abramovich, is said to have made payments that benefited billionaire Suleiman Kermov, the owner of the Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala – whom the pair played for.
Many supporters will remember when Chelsea were handed a transfer ban in 2019. Now, with possible punishment from FIFA, UEFA and the Premier League, they could be banned again.
In a statement responding the to the accusations, Chelsea said: “These allegations pre-date the club’s current ownership. They are based on documents which the club has not been shown and do not relate to any individual who is presently at the club.” A club spokesperson also said that as the club was being purchased, the new buyers became aware of “potentially incomplete financial reporting concerning historical transactions during the club’s previous ownership,” reports The Guardian.
“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.”
Under Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital’s ownership so far, over £1billion has been spent on new signings in only three transfer windows. The January transfer window will open in less than two months and speculation has already started linking players with a move to west London.
Despite the influx of players, the Chelsea squad remains some distance apart from the elite of European football. However, should the club be punished with a points deduction, their January transfer plans could be scuppered.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men are currently tenth in the Premier League table and are already ten points off the top four after 12 games. Reinforcements are expected to be brought in next year, but Boehly could face a difficult task of convincing players to join amid a threat of punishment.
Victor Osimhen and Ivan Toney are two players heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge.