PFDC - BRAZIL, The Iranian businessman Kia Joorabchian and his firm MSI - a foreign investments fund - which recently formed a joint venture with popular Brazilian club from Sao Paulo, the Corinthians, has shocked the world when he accquired the Argentine star striker Carlos Tevez for a record-breaking deal just recently.
According to MSI spokespersons, the transfer cost nearly 22 million dollars, the highest amount paid by a Brazilian club in acquiring a player.
Corinthians began a partnership with Media Sports Investments (MSI) in December that has seen the England-based group move to bolster the Brazilian team with top players.
Kia Joorabchian, the Iranian-born businessmen who led MSI's bid, promised to revitalise the club which won the Brazilian championship in 1998 and 1999 and FIFA's only World Club championship in 2000.
"We're going to bring together Tevez, Luxemburgo and whoever he chooses," he told the Estado de Sao Paulo. "Corinthians are going to be number one in South America."
Under the contract, MSI will provide $35 million to reinforce the Corinthians and pay off club debts of around 60 million reais ($15.95 million). In return, MSI will take 51 percent of future profits while covering any losses.
Corinthians have slumped dramatically since a previous investment deal ended last year. They look set to finish in mid-table in the Brazilian championship and miss out on the South American Libertadores Cup for the second year in a row.
Below you can find information about Kia Jurabchian and his company related to this deal:
Joorabchian's Corinthian spirit
Kia Joorabchian, a 33-year-old Iranian emigré, announced last month that he had bought Corinthians, the Sao Paulo team who are Brazil's second-biggest football club.
Joorabchian has no previous experience of football business but he does have a string of directorships, including one at Medway Autos, the car dealership of his father, Mohammed.
Young Joorabchian, who has an executive box at Arsenal, arrived in London, via Canada, following the fall of the Shah in Iran in 1979. He was educated at an independent boarding school, Shiplake College in Henley, and studied chemistry at Queen Mary College, University of London, before becoming an oil trader.
His big break was engineered in 1999 by Boris Berezovsky, then one of Russia's most powerful oligarchs and, at that time, the business partner of Abramovich.
Nowadays, Berezovsky and Abramovich are merely neighbours, both owning London homes in Belgravia, but in the 1990s the pair built their billions on the back of their oil company, S****ft, in Russia.
Their rise to power was not without controversy and the Russian authorities issued a warrant for Berezovsky's arrest on charges of fraud and corruption in 2001. He fled to London and was granted asylum in Britain in 2003.
Abramovich - Berezovsky - Joorabchian
Back in 1999, Berezovsky was still in favour in Russia, Abramovich was a fledgling businessman under Berezovsky's wing and Joorabchian, then 27, was attempting to make his way in the business world. In July of that year the man from Medway Autos stunned Russia by buying the respected newspaper Kommersant.
Joorabchian was introduced to the Russian media as head of an investment fund worth millions of dollars called American Capital. The company had been set up a year before and registered in the British Virgin Islands.
American Capital bought 85 per cent of Kommersant but within a month Joorabchian passed ownership to Berezovsky. That coincided with the sacking of the newspaper's editor, Raf Shakirov, who claimed Joorabchian was a front for Berezovsky.
Last week Shakirov told The Mail on Sunday: "Joorabchian was and is very much Berezovsky's man." Berezovsky and Joorabchian denied the claim at the time but the net result was that Berezovsky eased himself into the ownership of the newspaper, while Joorabchian was never heard of in the business world again.
That is until his return to the spotlight last month, when a remarkably similar turn of events occurred. Again a recently-formed investment fund run by Joorabchian announced that it had bought a famous overseas company in a country in which the Briton had no experience. The fund, Media Sport Investment, was set up last August and secured the finances to spend £18m to buy control of Brazilian club Corinthians for 10 years.
Who is funding the funds?
Last week Joorabchian's spokesman in Brazil, Fernando Mello, confirmed that Berezovsky may even end up supporting his old protege by helping Corinthians build a new stadium. But Mello claimed Berezovsky is not the money behind the MSI investment.
Nevertheless, someone is pumping the fund with money.
As well as buying the club, Joorabchian's new investment fund was able to spend £11.4million on taking 20-year-old Argentine playmaker Carlos Tevez to Corinthians.
Tevez was being pursued by Barcelona and never had such a young and exciting prospect ever turned down a move to Europe, especially not for Brazil, where football clubs are far from wealthy.
No longer, it seems. Corinthians are even ready to employ an English director of football in former England midfielder and Aston Villa manager John Gregory, who is now in Sao Paolo being interviewed for the job.
Last week MSI and Joorabchian moved to consolidate their Argentine connections in Buenos Aires. Joorabchian denies he has any formal links to Abramovich.
Hidalgo's links with Zahavi
But an intermediary on the Tevez deal between Joorabchian, and the selling club, Boca Juniors, was Fernando Hidalgo, the Argentine football agent who represents the country's leading players, including Juan Sebastian Veron and Hernan Crespo.
"My connection in football was useful for them in signing Tevez," said Hidalgo last week. "I worked as a simple intermediary."
Hidalgo works alongside the most famous of football agents in England, Pini Zahavi. The Israeli, who has earned millions from lucrative deals, selling Rio Ferdinand, Veron and Crespo among others, is regarded as Chelsea's agent of choice.
Zahavi set up Abramovich's £120million deal to buy Chelsea in July 2003 and was notoriously entrusted with attempting to lure England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson to Chelsea last season.
Now, though, Zahavi and Hidalgo have turned their attention to Argentina's next best discovery, midfielder Javier Mascherano.
Hidalgo says Zahavi was in Buenous Aires just after Christmas to negotiate for Mascherano's signature on behalf of "a powerful investment fund." Hidalgo denies that Zahavi's investment fund is, in fact, Joorabchian's MSI. But at Corinthians, Fernando Mello claims negotiations are ongoing with River Plate to secure Mascherano for MSI.
Completing the circle
Just to complete the circle, Corinthians are in the process of trying to buy Brazilian striker Vagner Love from CSKA Moscow. But Mello says negotiations are proving tricky, adding that this shows there is no formal connections between the clubs.
Yet more and more football people are making a link between Corinthians and Chelsea and last week Blues manager Jose Mourinho's former club, Porto, loaned their Brazilian striker, Carlos Alberto, to Corinthians.
Perhaps the player himself was a little too candid when he said: "I know Mourinho is very interested in my services and it is very satisfying knowing that the best coach in Europe is thinking about me."
Could a move to Corinthians really be the best way of attracting Chelsea's attention? And will Mascherano turn up there, too, in preparation for a move to Chelsea?
Whatever the eventual outcome, Kia Joorabchian, the man from Medway Autos, is building a stable of young, South American superstars at Corinthians that any right-thinking football mogul would wish to control.