Published: Wed, November 07, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Manchester City could face UEFA sanctions over alleged financial doping

Manchester City could face UEFA sanctions over alleged financial doping

The pressure is on Manchester City as more and more leaks documenting alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play come out courtesy of the Der Spiegel / Football Leaks collaboration.

Manchester City created a shell company for a commercial deal to disguise tens of millions of dollars in income from UEFA investigators, according to club documents cited by a German magazine.

And it says that in 2014 the clubs negotiated with Fifa president Gianni Infantino, who was then general secretary of European football's governing body Uefa, to agree reduced punishments.

Ahead of Manchester City's Champions League tie against Shakhtar Donetsk tomorrow, Pep Guardiola was asked about the allegations that the club falsified their books to allow extra investment from the owner.

"Believe me, I'm completely honest, I don't know what happened, I'm a manager, focused on the pitch, and the locker room".

Pep Guardiola says that it is "completely wrong" to suggest that Manchester City's success is only down to money.

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.

United travel to the Etihad on Sunday in the Premier League, with Mourinho aiming to become the first manager to defeat City in the league this season.

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Der Spiegel calls the settlements "weak" and claims Uefa "wasn't even entirely aware of the degree to which it had been deceived".

Man City has not disputed the authenticity of the documents, and said an "attempt to damage the club's reputation is organized and clear". "We want to do what we have to do in terms of the rules".

Since 2008, City have won three Premier Leagues, an FA Cup and three League Cups, and have spent more than £1.4bn on players.

City representatives have said the Abu Dhabi-based companies are independent sponsors.

David Frommer, spokesman for the European Club Association, said the organisation had "full trust in UEFA's organs of control in holding clubs to account". The sale of marketing rights in this particular instances is said to have brought in €30m, boosting revenues to further help FFP compliance.

Paris St-Germain have been contacted for a response.

"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". 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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