Chelsea face CSKA Moscow probe (1 Viewer)

Zlatan

Senior Member
Jun 9, 2003
23,034
#1
Chelsea face CSKA Moscow probe

MONACO, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Chelsea or CSKA Moscow could be forced out of the Champions League if it was discovered that Chelsea's Russian owner Roman Abramovich also had a controlling interest in the Russian champions, UEFA said on Thursday.

William Gaillard, UEFA's Director of Communications said after the two clubs were drawn in the same group in the opening phase of the competition, that if Abramovich had a controlling interest in both he would have to decide which club could stay in the competition.


The possible controversy has arisen because Abramovich is a leading shareholder in Russian oil giant Sibneft which sponsors CSKA.

'We do a superficial check of all clubs to establish that no individual owns more than 51 per cent of two clubs. Where we think there might be a problem we examine the situation more thoroughly.'

Chelsea said on Thursday that UEFA and the Champions League clubs should have no concerns over Abramovich's links with CSKA.

'Mr Abramovich is the owner of Chelsea and Sibneft, a company in which he is one of many shareholders, has a shirt sponsorship deal with CSKA Moscow,' the London club's director of communications Simon Greenberg said.

'Mr Abramovich has no equity stake nor any direct interest in CSKA Moscow.'

Greenberg added Abramovich had no say in how sponsorship money was spent at CSKA.

Trying to unravel details of Russian deal-making might tax the sharpest of legal brains, but Gaillard insisted that if there were any doubt, then either Chelsea or CSKA Moscow would not take part in the competition.

'If we find that any individual owns more than 51 per cent in two clubs, our rules are very clear. They cannot both compete,' he said.

CSKA president Yevgeny Giner is a close friend of Abramovich, the former owner of Sibneft and still the company's major share-holder.

Sibneft, Russia's fifth largest oil company, pledged $18 million a year until 2006 to become CSKA's title sponsor.

Abramovich was among Giner's guests at his VIP box during two CSKA matches last March.

Giner has spent millions of dollars in recent years to revamp his club. He broke the Russian league's transfer record twice last year, first signing Czech midfielder Jiri Jarosik from Sparta Prague for $3.7 million, then acquiring Croatia striker Ivica Olic from Dinamo Zagreb for $5.73 million.

This year, Giner has underlined his ambitions by signing two Russian internationals, Lokomotiv Moscow's Sergei Ignashevich and Rotor Volgograd's Yevgeny Aldonin, as well as Brazil under-23 striker Daniel Carvalho.

UEFA's lawyers will have to work quickly as the competition begins on September 14. Chelsea are due to play CSKA in London on October 20 and in Moscow on November 2.
 
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Zlatan

Senior Member
Jun 9, 2003
23,034
#3
Of course he would chose Chelsea, you dot think he'd spend so much money and then pull them out of the CL? Besides, Chelski has a chance to win it, CSKA dont.
 

The Arif

Senior Member
Jan 31, 2004
12,565
#4
++ [ originally posted by Zlatan ] ++
Of course he would chose Chelsea, you dot think he'd spend so much money and then pull them out of the CL? Besides, Chelski has a chance to win it, CSKA dont.

Exactly. It would not be a problem if Abramovich would have to decide which team could stay in the competition as he would not lose much money if he'd pull CSKA out of CL.
 

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