Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

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

La Liga call for UEFA sanctions against Manchester City amid new FFP leaks Pep Guardiola insists Manchester City's success is not solely down to money
Shannon Reynolds | 07 November, 2018, 13:55

Under UEFA's "Financial Fair Play" rules, clubs must be transparent about revenues and broadly balance them against expenditure.

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.

Der Spiegel also reports that City owner Sheikh Mansour provided monetary supplements to existing deals with sponsors in Abu Dhabi, where he is part of the royal family, to invest more money into the club. Critics say FFP protects storied clubs from ambitious rivals with new and wealthy owners. "Believe me, I'm completely honest, I don't know what happened, I'm a manager, focused on the pitch, the locker room".

Pep Guardiola has defended Manchester City in light of allegations the club breached financial fair play regulations and said they have to "accept it" if people claim they only win because of due to their spending power. "And of course we want to follow the rules, whether UEFA, FIFA or the Premier League", said the Spaniard, who joined City in 2016.

Der Spiegel allege that, under Soriano's leadership, City came up with a scheme that "allowed for numerous operational costs to be shifted either fully or partially away from the club".

Der Spiegel, crediting Football Leaks, has also alleged the third-party company to which they sold player image rights was also funded by the Sheikh.

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

'If you want to buy your way into football heaven, you can't let a few rules get in the way'.

The Catalan coach has delivered a combination of thrilling football and results as City romped to the title with a record 100 Premier League points last season. In City's case, however, Fordham Sports Management is alleged to have done so - with City's Abu Dhabi owner reimbursing Fordham directly to the tune of £11m a year.

This rise coincided with UEFA creating rules - in consultation with the European Club Association - to limit spending within a club's ability to generate revenue. One memo from chief executive Ferran Soriano is said to have read, "We will need to fight this and do it in a way that is not visible, or we will be pointed out as the global enemies of football".

Despite City's denials there have been growing calls for Uefa to investigate possible wrongdoing, including from the Spanish league. It was supposedly used as a vehicle to disguise payments to players for the right to use their image in marketing campaigns.

"This was a very good deal for MCFC", a PwC analyst, said, according to Der Spiegel.

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