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Leaked FinCEN Files claim Abramovich had 'secret stakes' in rival players, but Chelsea owner dismisses wrongdoing

Leaked FinCEN Files claim Abramovich had 'secret stakes' in rival players, but Chelsea owner dismisses wrongdoing
Billionaire Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich held rights in players not licensed to the London club, according to the 'FinCEN' leak of documents, though the Russian's spokesperson has denied any rules or regulations were broken.

The leaked documents, which were dubbed the 'FinCEN Files', suggested that Abramovich has a stake in a company called Leiston Holdings - which purchased rights to footballers in a third-party ownership capacity.

This is typically done when investors acquire a stake in high-potential players at clubs which may be experiencing financial trouble. Third-party ownership was banned in the UK in 2008 and internationally in 2015. 

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The leaks state that Peruvian player Andre Carrillo, who played twice against Chelsea for Sporting Lisbon in the 2014 Champions League, was a player part-owned by Leiston Holdings, and therefore Abramovich - with questions being raised as to the ethics involved with having financial stakes in opposition players.

Former Football Association chairman Lord Triesman has asked if it is reasonable for Abramovich to essentially have an interest in 12 players on the pitch, in the specific example of the 2014 Champions League ties. 

"I don't think it can possibly be proper for the owner of a football club to own players in other football clubs. That is precisely why third-party ownership is banned," he said to BBC's 'Panorama'.

"It casts suspicion and a shadow right across football. On the documents I've seen I would've um, wanted, as chairman of the FA, to investigate them."

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However, a spokesperson for Abramovich cautioned that there was no wrongdoing and that any third-party ownership of players took place before the practice became outlawed.

"The fact that transactions may have been confidential, does not mean that they were unlawful or otherwise in breach of then applicable rules or regulations," the spokesperson said.

"[The incidents in question] relate to the period before FIFA changed their rules."

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