According to revelations from the Daily Mail on Sunday, Manchester City would have circumvented the rules of financial fair play from the 2010-2011 season. The Mancunian club would have inflated the revenues of jersey sponsorship, through a company other than the Etihad airline, its official sponsor.
The case dates back to April 12, 2011 but could well put Manchester City in turmoil. According to information from the Daily Mail this Sunday, which obtained exchanges of e-mails, the Mancunian club would have deliberately inflated its income to circumvent the rules of financial fair play during the 2010-2011 season, then imposed by UEFA.
In this case, Manchester City would have cheated on the shirt sponsorship contract, funded by Etihad Airways, an airline based in Abu Dhabi. As a reminder, Manchester City has been managed by a holding company called Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG) since 2008. For the 2010-2011 season, the sponsor would have paid more than 4.6 million euros. Except that in the accounts, 14 million euros were notified.
Manchester City already sanctioned for circumventing financial fair play
“There seems to be some confusion about an unpaid balance of sponsorship fees for the 2010-2011 season, an Etihad official sent to the Manchester City club said at the time. As you know, the Etihad’s commitment amounts to 4.6 million euros and the balance (9.4 million euros) is managed separately by the executive affairs authority. Can you clarify this to your accounting department and recover it? to EAA in due course. “
The EAA would therefore have paid the difference to Manchester City. According to the website, it is “a specialized government agency mandated to provide strategic policy advice to the chairman of the Abu Dhabi executive.” Clearly, Etihad did not pay the full amount indicated and it was another entity in the United Arab Emirates that made up the difference.
In the past, Football Leaks revelations in 2018 claimed Manchester City had hidden the owner’s investment in sponsorship fees. At the time, Manchester City was accused of having overstated its advertising revenue between 2012 and 2016. The case already concerned the company Etihad, the main sponsor of the club belonging to Sheikh Mansour.
In July 2020, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) annulled the decision to exclude Manchester City from European competitions, pronounced by UEFA for two seasons. The cityzen club was already accused of having circumvented the rules in place, by disguising some of its income. But due to insufficient evidence, CAS had allowed Manchester City to return to European competitions.