The Premier League is investigating potential financial rule breaches at Chelsea under Roman Abramovich’s ownership, CEO Richard Masters told Britain’s Times newspaper on Wednesday.
Abramovich sold the club last year to an investment group led by American businessman Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital after the Russian oligarch’s assets in Britain were frozen by the UK government following his country’s invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special military operation”.
Chelsea’s new owners self-reported a number of financial transactions during the Abramovich era to European soccer’s governing body UEFA, the Premier League and the FA.
“We have been pretty open about the historic issues with regard to Chelsea because they self-reported to the Premier League and to the FA so it is obvious we are looking into that,” Masters told the newspaper.
“If the Premier League believes a club has breached the financial regulations and there is a case to answer, that case will be put to the club.”
The Times reported that the inquiry encompasses multi-million-pound payments to undisclosed offshore entities, with connections to football intermediaries, potentially resulting in penalties such as a substantial fine or even a points deduction for the club.
“We want due process to be served in as efficient a way as possible, as quickly as possible,” Masters added.
“It is not always easy to do these things quickly but we want the right answer, positive or negative, whether clubs are found guilty of breaching rules or not.”
UEFA reached a settlement in July with Chelsea over the submission of incomplete financial information, related to “historical transactions” between 2012-19, with the London club paying a fine of 10 million euros ($10.98 million).
Chelsea, who finished 12th in the Premier League following a chaotic campaign, will not be competing in Europe in 2023-24.