Man City accused over £30m 'sponsorship' payment


Man City accused over £30m 'sponsorship' payment

A new documentary covering the details behind Manchester City's 115 alleged breaches of FFP law accuses the club of using a 'mystery broker' to funnel sponsorship money.

UEFA launched an investigation into City's sponsorship dealings in 2018 after German website Der Spiegel alleged the club had used fraudulent means to circumvent FFP rules. The allegations related to £30million worth of 'sponsorship' payments between 2012 and 2013, which were said to have been invoiced to Abu Dhabi telecoms firm Etisalat.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled in 2020 the payments had in fact come from Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG), the investment group led by City owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan. However, UEFA was prevented from acting on certain findings after passing the five-year threshold for such charges.

But The Times has reported the Premier League could still punish the Blues, with the 2012 and 2013 payments expected to form part of the 115 FFP charges currently being investigated by the governing body. The Times said City had declined to comment on this.

One particular detail from The Times report referenced a 'mystery figure' who allegedly acted as the front for those two £15m payments. These fresh details come only a few weeks after City secured their maiden Champions League crown and historic Treble.

The information is discussed in a new documentary video titled 'Britain’s Biggest Football Scandal?', which has been released on YouTube.

UEFA initially punished City with a two-year European ban in 2019, only for that to be overturned the following year by the CAS, due to time elapsed since the alleged offences.

A passage from the UEFA report concluded: "At the hearing, leading counsel for the club, responding to questions from the adjudicatory committee, stated that the payer was Jaber Mohamed."

It still remains unclear whom 'Jaber Mohamed' is, with The Times reporting its sources were 'unable to verify their identity.' It's claimed City also refused to provide the payer as a witness at the CAS hearing three years ago.

City's 115 charges span a nine-year period between 2009 and 2018, overlapping with the club's rise to English domination. Italian Roberto Mancini was at the club's helm when they won their first Premier League crown in 2012, going on to lift seven of the past 12 such titles on offer.

The Manchester powerhouse has also been charged with failing to comply with the FFP investigation after allegedly withholding financial documents relating to the past five seasons.

City are taking legal action against the Premier League's 115 charges - accusing them of rule violations. The club is disputing the legitimacy of the investigation as well as the involvement of an Arsenal-supporting barrister overseeing the disciplinary proceedings

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