The New York Times bombshell report that UEFA could recommend a one-year European ban on Manchester City has forced a response out of the Premier League winners.
In a statement, Manchester City called accusations of financial and accounting impropriety “entirely false,” and stated that their financials and proof that all their deals have been done above board has been provided to UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body Investigatory Chamber. Manchester City has previously been accused of juicing their finances with high-priced sponsorship deals from organizations owned-by or related to Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, effectively just paying themselves to ensure the club isn’t breaching Financial Fair Play.
“The New York Times report citing “people familiar with the case” is therefore extremely concerning,” Man City’s statement said. “The implications are that either Manchester City’s good faith in the CFCB IC is misplaced or the CFCB IC process is being misrepresented by individuals intent on damaging the Club’s reputation and its commercial interests. Or both. Manchester City’s published accounts are full and complete and a matter of legal and regulatory record. The accusation of financial irregularities are entirely false, and comprehensive proof of this fact has been provided to the CFCB IC.”
In the past, punishments for breaching FFP have included fines in the millions of dollars and some transfer restrictions. Both Man City and Paris Saint-Germain have been in the spotlight for potential FFP breaches because the two clubs, both owned by Middle Eastern royal families with nearly unlimited resources, have spent lavishly to improve their respective squads to take them to the top of Europe’s echelon in as short amount of time as possible.
Ultimately, it’s unlikely that UEFA would approve a recommendation to give Man City a severe ban from European competition, and even if they did, Man City would fight it tooth and nail, considering how much money there is to make from playing in the UEFA Champions League every year.