Swindon Town were receiving loans from Roman Abramovich which raise questions as to whether EFL rules were broken whilst Lee Power was the club’s owner, according to a new report.

The former Chelsea owner is alleged to have given Power a loan of £1.25 million through an Abramovich-owned company in the British Virgin Islands, Leiston Holdings, in 2017 and 2018, which the agreement stipulated had to be lent to the club.

A report by Simon Lock and Rob Davies in The Bureau of Investigative Journalism and The Guardian has found new, leaked documents which raise questions about whether Abramovich broke European football rules. These included off-book payments made to an Italian agent linked to Antonio Conte, and companies linked to key figures in the arrivals of players like Eden Hazard, Willian, Nemanja Matic, and Arjen Robben.

The documents raised questions about whether the Russian had breached EFL rules about having a dual interest in two English clubs without the written consent of the EFL, through the loan paid by Leiston Holdings to Lee Power.

The loan period was to be extended “if the club achieve promotion to League One” and would otherwise be forgiven, and as Town did not go up that year, it did not have to be paid back.

Another stipulation was that the loan would enable Leiston to have access to Swindon’s budget, which would include being allowed to look at the contracts of players and staff.

According to the report: “Two leading sports lawyers said it was unclear whether the loan broke rules but that any payments to people linked to other football clubs should have been disclosed to English or European football authorities.”

Abramovich chose not to return requests for comment on the article, but Chelsea have issued a response in the report.

A spokesperson for the club said: “These allegations pre-date the club’s current ownership. They are based on documents which the club has not been shown and do not relate to any individual who is presently at the club."

However, the owners were aware during the purchasing process of “potentially incomplete financial reporting concerning historical transactions during the club’s previous ownership”.

They added: “Immediately following the completion of the purchase, the club proactively self-reported these matters to all applicable football regulators.

“In accordance with the club’s ownership group’s core principles of full compliance and transparency, the club has proactively assisted the applicable regulators with their investigations and will continue to do so.”