Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Manchester City hit by more allegations over Uefa’s financial fair play rules

City could face UEFA and Premier League sanctions over alleged financial doping La Liga call for UEFA sanctions against Manchester City amid new FFP leaks
Frederick Owens | 08 November, 2018, 14:43

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has defended the Premier League champions as "incredibly professional" in response to allegations they bent financial fair play rules.

In addition, Jose Mourinho has stated that he suspected Manchester City of these kinds of wrongdoings from several years. "I have thoughts from a few years ago but I keep the thoughts to myself, "he said at his pre-match press conference ahead of United's clash with Juventus on Wednesday".

La Liga president Javier Tebas has long spoken out against Manchester City and PSG describing their conduct as financial doping and La Liga spokesman Joris Evers told Reuters and the BBC the time for action is needed.

A big chunk of City's support make their feelings about UEFA known at every European night, stemming back to the fine and sanctions dished out against the club for breaching the FFP rules in 2014. UEFA apparently knew they had let the club "off the hook with a ludicrously low penalty", but that is put down to not being fully aware of the "vast extent" of the "deceit".

In the latest allegations to plunge City into turmoil, it is alleged a risk analysis regarding a possible deal with Arabtec was carried out by executives but that, despite the report concluding a partnership with the company would have "significant potential to damage the perception and standing of the club and its owners", the club struck an agreement regardless.

In an internal memo seen by the magazine, Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano said: "We will need to fight [FFP] and do it in a way that is not visible, or we will be pointed out as the global enemies of football". Those costs could be transferred to a subsidiary to hide them from UEFA.

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That included selling players' image rights to an external company, therefore writing off that cost from their accounts.

The emails appear to suggest that in 2012 the club investigated avenues to avoid non-compliance of impending FFP rules under of a project known internally as "Longbow".

The scheme is said to have involved a shell company called Fordham Sports Management being set up. "The most important will be Shakhtar, first because it is the next one and second because it is a final". Taking that further, it is declared that 'Fordham was merely a vehicle for hidden capital injections from Abu Dhabi'.

The cache, which spans much of the past 10 years, includes previously undisclosed details of UEFA's investigation of the financial affairs of City and Qatar-owned Paris St Germain.

Der Spiegel said this helped turn nearly 30 million euros ($34 million) into revenue instead of a cost, for the objective of UEFA's investigation of club accounts. A City lawyer apparently professed not to know because Fordham hadn't showed the club its business plan.

City have subsequently been accused in more leaked documents of an array of attempts to inflate and backdate sponsorship deals to "deceive" UEFA.

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