‘UEFA set to investigate sponsorship declarations from Manchester City since 2016’

Manchester City braced for further pain with ‘UEFA set to investigate sponsorship declarations since 2016’ as current punishment only deal with four years before that date

  • Manchester City face further UEFA probes into their sponsorship agreements
  • Concerns exist over amount of Abu Dhabi sponsorship declared since 2015 
  • Club were already handed £25million fine and two-year Champions League ban
  • There current punishments relate only to the period between 2012-16

UEFA’s financial fair play compliance body are considering further probes into the amount of Abu Dhabi sponsorship declared by Manchester City since 2016, according to the Guardian. 

The Premier League champions were hit by a £25million fine and two-year ban from the Champions League last Friday after an investigation by UEFA found ‘very serious breaches’ of FFP regulations in how they declared sponsorship between 2012 and 2016.

While Uefa’s club financial control body (CFCB) and its investigatory chamber had approved the club’s declarations since 2016, the findings – that came about as a result of the November 2018 Der Spiegel leaks – mean that the body needs to decide whether they can accept the club’s assurances that Etihad fully fund sponsorship.

UEFA are set to begin investigation Manchester City’s sponsorship agreements since 2015

The club and Abu Dhabi state airline Etihad have repeatedly refuted any suggestion that the £67.5m sponsorship arrangement is in any way subsidised 

Etihad said in a statement: ‘The airline’s financial obligations, associated with the partnership of the club and the broader City Football Group, have always been, and remain, the sole liability and responsibility of Etihad Airways.’ 

UEFA’s six strong investigatory chamber – made up of distinguished politicians and economists – must also untangle the issue around the relationship between Man City owner Sheikh Mansour and the Abu Dhabi sponsorships.

Club owner Sheikh Mansour's ties to three sponsors may not face greater scrutiny from UEFA

Club owner Sheikh Mansour’s ties to three sponsors may not face greater scrutiny from UEFA

FFP regulations are aimed at preventing any ‘related’ sponsorship arrangements being used effectively as a backdoor to channel more funds into a club and circumvent limits on owner investment.

During the 2014 investigation – which ended with Man City agreeing to pay a settlements – PwC found that three sponsors in investment firm Aabar, telecommunications company Etisalat and Etihad were tied to Mansour.

The settlement effectively meant UEFA did not have to draw a conclusion on this matter, but the investigatory chamber may now be forced to reach a decision. 

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