Man City could face new UEFA investigation into Abu Dhabi sponsors after two-year European football ban
Feb. 18, 2020
Man City could face a new UEFA investigation into their Abu Dhabi sponsors.
Last week, City were hit with a two-year ban from European club competitions after breaching UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations.
They were also fined €30million (£24.9million) by European football’s governing body.
City are appealing the punishment through the Court of Arbitration for Sport ‘at the earliest opportunity’.
And it could get worse for City, with the Guardian claiming UEFA could look at the club’s sponsorship details since 2016.
The Investigatory chamber (IC) assesses financial submissions of European clubs competing in the Champions League and Europa League each year.
It has approved City’s sponsorship figures since 2016, until private emails were published by German magazine Der Spiegel in November 2018.
An investigation could be needed to figure out whether Abu Dhabi state airline Etihad was fully funding the sponsorship or if it was being subsidised.
Two emails sent by City’s former chief financial officier, Jorge Chumillas, suggested the Etihad sponsorship was mostly being bankrolled by ADUG, the company owned by City owner Sheikh Mansour.
However, both City and Etihad have denied the sponsorship is subsided.
An Etihad statement said: “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.”
Another issue UEFA could reportedly investigate is whether the Abu Dhabi sponsorships are related to Mansour.
UEFA Financial Fair Play scrutinises whether sponsorships are for market value or an owner putting money into the club under the disguise of a sponsorship.
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