Danish newspaper Politiken published a claim from Football Leaks yesterday that Chelsea broke Premier League rules by hiring Andreas Christensen’s father a “scout” and thus enticing the then-15-year-old defender to sign. Manchester City were apparently trying to do the same thing, but Chelsea won the transfer battle and now face these allegations.
Hiring Sten Christensen as a scout wouldn’t be an issue per se, but the report claims that he has done zero actual scouting work for the club, thanks in part to being employed as a goalkeeper coach at Brondby during all that time (where Andreas also used to play).
They speculate that the scouting salary — £11,400 a month (plus VAT) for four years, for a grand total of over £650k — was just a cover-up, for either Sten operating as an unlicensed agent for his son, or for simply Chelsea paying the family a little something extra on the side. Neither payments to unlicensed agents nor parent inducements are allowed by league rules and regulations.
When contacted by Politiken, Chelsea issued the following statement to the newspaper:
“We do not comment on speculation concerning confidential contracts or player related matters.”
Sten Christensen, meanwhile, was washing his hands.
“Listen, this is a story you’ve gotten from some Ukrainian or something. I have no comments on this matter whatsoever. [Politiken] had better not call me again.”
And the Premier League issued the following statement:
“Should we receive any substantiated material that suggests our rules may have been breached, we will of course investigate and have a track record of doing so.”
#FootballLeaks: @ManCity and @ChelseaFC offered to pay parents of underage football talents a fortune. One example: Former Gladbach player Andreas Christensen, whose father was paid by Chelsea GBP 600,000. https://t.co/IukxdtBkcM Great report by @jlbrocken & @SorenLissner— Christoph Winterbach (@derWinterbach) November 15, 2018
Whether hacked and possibly out of context data would count as “substantiated material” is very much unclear at this time — it may not be admissible in many courts, but the Premier League may not be bound by the same rules — but should they find Chelsea in breach of the rules, punishments would surely follow. The Premier League’s track record includes fining Everton half-a-million pounds and giving them a two-year ban on signing players from other club academies in England, a judgement handed down just this month.
This unwelcome report comes right after FIFA confirmed that Chelsea remain one the clubs under investigation since 2017 for potentially dodgy youth deals.
Never a boring day at Chelsea Football Club. Brace yourselves. Things could get bumpy.