EPL investigates Chelsea’s Willian and Samuel Eto’o signings of Roman Abramovich era

Chelsea Football Club underwent an ownership takeover in May 2022 after the UK government approved the €4.25 billion bid by the American billionaire Todd Boehly-led consortium to acquire the Premier League club.

The London club witnessed enormous success under the previous ownership of the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, who took charge of the club’s ownership two decades ago in 2003. The club’s two signings during his tenure as owner is now being investigated by the Premier League’s scrutiny of financial transactions.

The Premier League digs into Chelsea’s transfers

The Premier League has opened an investigation against Chelsea’s two acquisitions, Samuel Eto’o and Willian, regarding the payments made by the club under the regime of former owner Roman Abramovich, as per the claims emerging in recent reports.

Via-The Times

The forward duo joined the Blues from the Russian club, Anzhi Makhachkala, and are being suspected of making secret transfer-related payments by the former owners to the Russian entities, that were separate from any transfer fee a decade ago in August 2013.

The Russian outfit, Anzhi, signed the Brazilian Willian from Shakhtar Donetsk for €30 million and sold him to Chelsea just 8 months later for the same amount. Meanwhile, the former Barcelona and Inter Milan striker moved to Stamford Bridge on a free transfer.


Reportedly, these unidentified payments were disclosed during the audit conducted by the new owner Tod Boehly, and Clearlake Capital during the acquisition of the club from Abramovich last year. Chelsea reported these transactions to the English FA and Premier League following the takeover.

The current management has clearly stated that these alleged payments date back to the previous ownership and have no relation to any member of the current ownership. A potential points deduction and transfer ban could be sanctioned despite the agreed €10 million compensatory fine to UEFA for breach of Financial Fair Play rules.

Abramovich sold Chelsea for a record price

Roman Abramovich decided to sell Chelsea following multiple sanctions imposed on the Russian billionaire by the UK government due to his country’s invasion of Ukraine. The sale, which took place in May of last year, marked a record transfer, making it the most expensive team transaction in professional sports. The club was purchased by American investors led by Tod Boehly.

Abramovich purchased the Premier League club from Ken Bates for a reported transfer amount of €140 million in 2003. He transformed the Blues into a world-class team with top signings and success during his era in West London from 2003 to 2022. Eventually, the UK government approved the takeover of the club to American investors for a world record €4.25 billion. 

SZ Desk

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