MANCHESTER CITY took a step closer to being banned from the Champions League after new leaks of alleged Uefa rule-breaking, according to reports.
German magazine Der Spiegel released emails, as reported by the Daily Mail, showing details on how City allegedly dodged Uefa’s Financial Fair Play rules.
Reuters Man City are facing a Champions League ban over alleged FFP rules dodging
The governing body’s strict laws, which dictate how much money an owner can spend at a club, are in place to prevent hyperinflation within the transfer market.
Premier League champions City were already under investigation over November’s leaked emails that appeared to show use of funding from Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG) to supplement sponsorship deals.
ADUG is the investment fund owned by City chief Sheikh Mansour.
And these new emails will see a Champions League ban edge closer after Yves Leterme, chairman and chief investigator of Uefa Club Financial Control Body, said in January that City would face “the heaviest punishment”.
Reuters New emails appear to show City owner Sheikh Mansour supplementing sponsorship deals
Expulsion from Europe’s top table would have a profound affect on the club in attracting new players and balancing the books without Sheikh Mansour’s funding.
The new tranche of emails from Der Spiegel provides more evidence of how City made their record income appear to come through increased sponsorship, rather than the owner’s funding.
This is seen in an email from City director Simon Pearce to an executive of Aabar, an Abu Dhabi investment firm, in April 2010.
Pearce wrote: “As we discussed the annual direct obligation for Aabar is £3 million. The remaining £12m required will come from His Highness.”
AFP or licensors Leaked emails appear to show City breaching Uefa FFP rules
Other emails between Pearce and chief financial officer Jorge Chumillas include talk of “additional sponsorship flowing through ADUG” and the amounts due to be paid.
An email from January 2013 about Etihad’s sponsorship of City a total of £57m is listed as the “ADUG contribution to the 13/14 sponsorship fee”.
Each of these appear to be breaches of Uefa rules.
This comes a week after Football Leaks documents showed Jadon Sancho’s move to Manchester City could have been illegal.
Spiegel highlighted the youngster’s move from Watford to City in 2015.
Getty – Contributor City are already under scrutiny over their signing of Jadon Sancho from Watford
The German magazine claims City agreed a fee of £150,000 up front for the 14-year-old, with another £500,000 due if he made ten first-team appearances.
It is then claimed Sancho’s agent, Emeka Obasi, was handed “what appeared to be a scouting contract” worth £200,000 which City’s internal documents described as an “agent fee”, according to Spiegel.
A City statement to the Daily Mail said: “We will not be providing any comment on out-of-context materials purported to have been hacked or stolen from City Football Group and City personnel and associated people. The attempt to damage the club’s reputation is clear.”
Jadon Sancho’s move to Man City may have been illegal according to Football Leaks documents