Uefa rejected Manchester City’s accounting methods and recalculated club losses by an extra £60million prior to previous financial fair play sanctions in 2014, it was claimed on Wednesday night.
City were also said to have been reported for failing to make bank statements available before their well-publicised conditional £49 million settlement with European football’s governing body.
The new details come to light days before City are due to learn their fate over a second Uefa FFP probe following revelations in the Football Leaks scandal.
Prior to their previous punishment, City had posted combined losses of almost £149 million over two seasons – £97 million in 2012 and £51.6 million in 2013.
On Wednesday night, The Guardian reported the City were found to have made “inadmissible submissions”, apparently in relation to £118.75 million in sponsorships from companies in Abu Dhabi, the home state of the club’s owner. Accounting methods over transfer fees and the formation of two new companies were rejected, it is claimed. As a result, almost £60million was reportedly added to the club’s losses by Uefa consultants. The Guardian claims that staff within Uefa believed the regulations should have been more strictly enforced at the time.
City – who said in May last year that they were “entirely confident” of being cleared over a second investigation, this time an alleged £60million FFP breach – are likely to hear from the adjudicatory chamber of Uefa’s Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) imminently. The club can go back to sport’s appeal court in Switzerland to challenge any verdict, which could still include a ban from the Champions League.
Investigators have reviewed leaked files from 2015, which claim almost £60 million was paid directly into the club by their billionaire Arab owners but declared as sponsorship.
However, City launched a scathing attack on the charges, and said the club is “entirely confident of a positive outcome when the matter is considered by an independent judicial body” The FFP regulations, introduced in 2010-11, were aimed at dampening players’ wage inflation and encouraging European clubs not to make huge losses.
In response to reports in the Guardian, a statement form the club said: “The 2014 settlement agreement resolved all open matters between the parties and was based on comprehensive information disclosure. The settlement agreement contains confidentiality provisions that prevent Manchester City from commenting on both the agreement and the investigation that it settled. It continues to be our position that we will not be providing any comment on out-of-context materials. The attempt to damage the club’s reputation is organised and clear.”