CHELSEA Football Club has ripped up its partnership agreement with a firm that was raided by the police’s fraud squad earlier this month, City A.M. understands.
CWM FX became the Premier League club’s official online forex trading partner at the start of the year, as part of a sequence of glamorous marketing deals directed at various sports.
CWM’s offices at the Heron Tower on Bishopsgate were raided on 3 March by the City of London police, resulting in 13 people being arrested and released on bail.
The company’s chief executive, 33-year-old Anthony Constantinou, was one of the 13 arrested, according to sources. Ten men and three women were arrested in total, police said, “all of whom work for the City-based foreign exchange trading company”.
CWM’s senior executives have been enjoying live matches at Stamford Bridge, and invited IBF World Super Bantamweight boxing champion Carl Frampton to their corporate box for the crunch clash against title-holders Manchester City at the end of January.
When signing the agreement, Chelsea believed the deal with CWM FX would be relatively minor, yet the police raid had the potential to cause embarrassment to the table-topping west London side.
City A.M. understands that certain requirements contained in the original agreement with Chelsea were not satisfied by CWM, resulting in the deal being terminated. There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing connected with the agreement between CWM and Chelsea.
A CWM statement from yesterday, regarding the police enquiry, said: “There is no sustainable basis for these allegations.”
It added: “CWM believe that they have been the victim of an orchestrated campaign initiated by individuals motivated by personal animosity.”
As well as signing a partnership agreement with Chelsea in January, CWM FX also sponsored the London Boat Show, where Constantinou and general manager Craig Droste met and spoke with Princess Anne.
It has also signed deals with boxing legend Barry McGuigan, a MotoGP racing team, another car racing team named SV Racing, and rugby league giants Wigan Warriors.
On Tuesday this week, police urged investors in some of CWM’s managed funds – those that offered five per cent interest a month – to come forward. As well as making the 13 arrests on 3 March, “detectives, supported by the Financial Conduct Authority [the City’s watchdog], also seized a host of computers and documentary evidence,” police said.
Anyone who has invested in the funds is being asked to call the police on 020 7601 6830 or to contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or to visit the website: www.actionfraud.police.uk.