Financial Fair Play slams Manchester City with huge fine, squad reduction

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Fresh off Manchester City’s triumphant Premier League season, they will be hard pressed to repeat thanks to the new Financial Fair Play rules.

Along with Paris Saint-Germain, Zenit St. Petersburg, Galatasaray, Anzhi Makhachkala, Rubin Kazan, Trabzonspor, Bursaspor, and PFC Levski Sofia, City has been found to have breached FFP regulations and will be accordingly punished.

According to the documented release by UEFA, Manchester City has agreed to:

  • Pay a fine of $82.19 million
  • Cap its Champions League roster at 21 players (down from 25), 8 of which must be “homegrown”
  • Cap its wages at their current level outside of performance bonuses
  • A break-even financial deficit for the next two fiscal years
  • Have its expenditure allowance reduced below the level of other clubs (essentially a probationary period).

Read the full UEFA report here.

The investigation found that Manchester City’s net losses of $207 million was bankrolled entirely by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi, the club’s owner. The bankroll was covered up in sponsorships but they were too closely tied to Sheikh Mansour for UEFA’s liking.

Manchester City has released a statement claiming they have “engaged with UEFA in its introduction of the Financial Fair Play Regulations in good faith and without prejudice and in a transparent and collaborative manner.”

Essentially, they disagree with the findings of the FFP investigation, citing the facts that they’ve been “operating with no debt” and “realizing its football and commercial opportunities whilst continuing unprecedented investments in both youth development and the local community.”

However, they admit that while they would like to challenge the findings, they have decided not to for “practical realities.”  That’s because they can’t – the ruling has no appeal.

Therefore, the club confirms that the eventual punishments laid down were a “compromise agreement.” Most clubs were given the opportunity to settle with UEFA.

City claims that they already used a 21-player roster this past season for the Champions League, however the team’s official UEFA roster lists 24 players as part of their “A” list.

The punishments given to Manchester City were exactly the same as those handed down to Paris Saint-Germain, who responded with a club statement of their own.  You can view all UEFA documents pertaining to these sanctions here.

Interestingly enough, heavy spenders Monaco were not included in the FFP sanctions and appear to be safe.