Former Chelsea CEO Peter Kenyon Under Investigation from FIFA

September 29, 2011

Former Chelsea Chief Executive Officer Peter Kenyon is surrounded with controversy as soccer’s ruling body, FIFA, are investigating an investment fund set up by the businessman identifying whether it breaks the sport’s rules. 

The fund, which has invested in the future transfer value of about 15 players, is controlled by Kenyon’s talent-agency employer Creative Artists Agency Inc (CAA) and another athlete management company, Gestifute SA. Some of the players are managed by Gestifute, which handles Cristiano Ronaldo’s business.

A Barcelona University professor, Jose Maria Gay, who writes an annual report on soccer finance believes the arrangement may be a conflict of interest because Gestifute could seek transfers for its clients that give the fund a greater return. Kenyon said the fund’s managers are “very conscious” not to influence trades, which would be a breach of FIFA rules.

Kenyon said in an interview: “We’ve been aware of conflict and we’ve managed that conflict. I’m confident that we’re operating within the guidelines of the football governing bodies and the financial bodies.”

FIFA’s rules say clubs face disciplinary action, which could include a financial penalty or blocking their access to the new signings, if they give third parties the ability to influence transfers.

Los Angeles-based CAA, which primarily represented actors like George Clooney, branched into sports in 2006 and formed a alliance with Porto, Portugal-based Gestifute in 2008.