Man City and Paris St-Germain 'are cheating and should be punished'

Elena Summers
November 8, 2018

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak, left, with chief executive Ferran Soriano at Etihad Stadium before a match.

The allegations against City, who have a number of prominent Abu Dhabi-based sponsors, are that they manipulated contracts to get around that.

Responding to the claims, City manager Pep Guardiola said he "trusts the club and what they have done".

"What I think about FFP is the same as what the club said on Friday".

In August Man City celebrated the 10th anniversary since Sheikh Mansour, a member of Abu Dhabi's ruling family, took control of the club, pouring billions into player budgets and infrastructure to turn the perennial Premier League strugglers into champions.

City were fined 60 million euros by UEFA in 2014 for breaching those rules, but the two parties reached an agreement under which the club would get 40 million euros back if they stuck to the terms of their settlement.

Der Spiegel is planning to publish further stories related to City on Wednesday and Thursday.

Documents suggest a company called Fordham Sports Management - allegedly steered by Conservative Party donor David Rowland and his son Jonathan - paid City players for their image rights.


And while the club have given only a short response to the allegations to date, on Tuesday boss Pep Guardiola insisted City's success is not exclusively down to the money they have spent.

The magazine said the name "Longbow" was chosen, according to City's chief legal adviser, Simon Cliff, as it was "the weapon the English used to beat the French at Crecy and Agincourt" in the Hundred Years' War.

The accusation from Der Spiegel after viewing internal documents is that it was Sheikh Mansour's company, Abu Dhabi United Group, that gave the Rowlands the money "for the purchase of the marketing rights and to pay the players for their marketing appearances".

The magazine reported that Man City officials detailed a long-term search for "creative solutions" to hiding expenses and evading UEFA monitoring of spending on players.

"We will need to fight this", Soriano wrote, according to the magazine, "and do it in a way that is not visible, or we will be pointed out as the global enemies of football". UEFA's rules are intended, among other things, to prevent exactly that.

A La Liga spokesman said: 'This confirms what we have been saying for years'.

PSG have already launched an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against UEFA's re-opened financial fair play investigation. When auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers later reviewed the Fordham deal on behalf of UEFA, it was concluded that it was a "very good deal for MCFC", not least because the auditors couldn't figure out how Fordham expected to make any money on the deal for themselves.

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