It is believed that when the rights were being handed from the then-controlling Bayerische Landesbank to CVC Capital Partners, the bank’s representative, Gerhard Gribkowsky, may have been the beneficiary of a hefty behind-the-scenes donation.
Suspicions were raised when Gribkowsky (pictured) later established a charity foundation in Austria, but the 52-year-old could provide “no plausible explanation” as to the origins of the money he tried to invest in the charity.
German prosecutors have just confirmed that Gribkowsky was arrested and brought into custody, where he has been charged with corruption, tax fraud and breach of trust by allegedly taking the kickback.
Other than the prosecution alleging that the money was sent via “payments disguised via two consultancy agreements”, it is not known who funded the kickback. A spokesperson for CVC – the sport’s current commercial rights holder – has refused to comment, however.
A later statement issued from CVC has denied any involvement or knowledge in Gribkowsky or the allegations surrounding him.
[Original image via Sutton Images]