“Of course, we can do what we want.”
In the spring of 2013, Simon Pearce, manager of Manchester City, reassured with those words to Spanish Jorge Chumillas, the club's financial officer, who had just discovered a problem: the dismissal of the coach Roberto Mancini It left a vacancy in the budgets of 9.9 million pounds and, if they closed the year, they would breach the UEFA Financial Fair Play. For the first time since the Sheikh of Abu Dhabi Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan I bought the City in 2008, there was a high risk of sanction. But the solution was blunt: three of the club's sponsors from Abu Dhabi, Etihad Airlines, Aabar and the Ministry of Tourism will retouch their already signed contracts to add the necessary 9.9 million. And ready. Chumillas asked if that could be done and Pearce's answer already knows her.
“Of course, we can do what we want.”
Through emails and documents, the German magazine Der Spiegel uncovered in November 2018 the fraudulent practices of Manchester City and a year and a half later, this Friday, the reaction of UEFA arrived: the British club cannot play in Europe both Next seasons and must pay a fine of 30 million euros. The regulatory body considered that the City not only skipped the financial Fair Play – which forces balance of income and expenses – but also covered up with falsehoods. Now the group can resort to the Court of Sports Arbitration (TAS), but that is already its only possible salvation. Without naming it directly, UEFA gave veracity in its punishment for the 'Der Spiegel' information that went far beyond the Mancini 9.9 million chapter and the modified contracts.
The German media investigation concludes that Sheikh Mansour had transferred large amounts of money from his Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG) holding company to the City and had concealed those movements through sponsorship contracts with companies of his emirate. The clearest example responds to the 2014-2015 season, when Etihad Airlines was supposed to contribute 67.5 million pounds to the coffers of the club, but in reality only eight million arrived from the airline; the rest came directly from ADUG.
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