The Zurich-based Tages-Anzeiger newspaper and the German Spiegel news magazine claim that the Zug-based Infront sports-marketing company tricked clients out of several millions of francs.
The Infront company, whose offices are in Grafenau in the city, has, since 2015, actually been primarily owned by the Chinese Dalian Wanda Group and sells advertising rights relating to matches organised though the German Football Association, passing them on to clients who wish to advertise at games involving the German national team.
According to the two afore-mentioned journals, Infront has been showing perimeter advertising for 29 seconds rather than the agreed 30, this bearing in mind such advertising amounts to CHF 1million per game.
At the beginning of May, an Infront spokesman, none other than Philippe Blatter, the nephew of Sepp Blatter, the Former president of Fifa, admitted that the company had indeed dismissed a senior official after it had been made known the employee was facing prosecution in the canton of Thurgovia for fraud, company internal investigations revealing that it appeared fraudulent activity had taken place. It was also disclosed the company’s internal investigation was still ongoing and that “it had been very shocked”.
It now appears Infront has called in the PwC professional services firm to carry out internal auditing, with offers being made to compensate companies adversely affected.
It has since been disclosed that Infront has now put aside some EUR 6 million to cover such expenses, information which became known through a US stock exchange report looking into Wanda, after it announced it intended to list its sports division in New York and was under obligation to disclose any risks.