Sunday, 17 February, 2019

Manchester City created shell company to hide player costs from UEFA

Southampton's Dutch defender Wesley Hoedt vies for an aerial ball with Manchester City's Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho during their English Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium Manchester City created shell company to hide player costs from UEFA
Kristopher Love | 07 November, 2018, 13:55

There is apparently concern about the manner in which the Der Spiegel documents were obtained with hacked or stolen documents set to be dismissed by the football authorities, but more revelations due out between Tuesday and Thursday are expected to further embarrass the City brand.

City executive Simon Pearce is said to have joked in one email that he had become the "de facto MD (managing director) of ADUG", leading Der Spiegel to label the situation a "farce" and slam City: "A club director was controlling the expenditures of the club owner's holding company, money that would travel around the world before landing in the team's coffers".

Guardiola was also lured to Manchester by City's resources after great success with Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

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".

And Guardiola defended the professionalism of the club at all levels behind the scenes. The Guardian has not seen or been able to verify the documents Der Spiegel has used in its reporting.

The accusation from Der Spiegel after viewing internal documents is that it was Sheikh Mansour's company, Abu Dhabi United Group, that gave the Rowlands the money "for the purchase of the marketing rights and to pay the players for their marketing appearances".

"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", the club said in a statement to the Press Association.

"UEFA should now take action and apply the rules and any sanctions that exist and are necessary".

City were initially handed a £49m fine for FFP breaches in 2014 but were given back £33.4m of that three years later after meeting the requirements of the sanctions initially imposed on them.

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

That is the incredibly damning assessment of Manchester City from German magazine Der Spiegel in the second instalment of the unmasking of the Premier League champions this week.

"That is why I always defend my players and what they do". "And of course we want to follow the rules, whether UEFA, FIFA or the Premier League", said the Spaniard, who joined City in 2016.

His response comes after both Federation Internationale de Football Association and Manchester City issued statements in response to the allegations, denying any wrongdoing. "Everyone here is very professional and they try to do things in the right way".

"You have to accept it when people say you win just because of money, what can you say?"