Manchester City given unaccounted payments by UAE according to new report



By Sir Hardly Anyone

There are of course rumours all the time.  And we tend to look at them, simply because 95% of stories published in the written media and commented upon on broadcast media tend to be rumours.   But we do also try and see a little behind the stories, which I think is what much of the media doesn’t do.

One such recent example is the report in the Times  that suggets that Manchester City were given two payments of £15 million in 2012 and 2013, by an undisclosed person from the United Arab Emirates. There is apparently no record of the money being linked to a sponsorship deal or sale of player or an item by Manchester City, and the journalist Matt Lawton says that “UEFA couldn’t identify who he was”.   The Times story is behind a paywall but the story has now also turned up on AS which can be read without a subscription.

As we know Manchester City are under investigation by the whole of the Premier League for 115 alleged breaches of the league’s financial rules, and it is also reported that this is not a new incident just discovered, but simply one of the 115.

However even if it is not new it is interesting, because that would mean we now have an insight into just one of the 115 claims of the type Manchester City is facing.  If it were typical of the rest of the claims that would mean the amount of money being looked at in terms of undeclared payments would be over £12 billion.

The Times article claims that there was a Uefa report on the matter produced but it was not circulated beyond Uefa in 2020 which concluded that “the two £15 million payments from 2012 and 2013 were made to cover sums that were supposed to have come from one of their main sponsors”.   In this case that appears to have been UAE-owned telecoms firm Etisalat  If the money was from a sponsor which gained a benefit from the sponsorship, of course, it would be legitimate.  But the fact that it was not declared as such would make it highly suspicious and would then cause the Inland Revenue to take an interest since it was not declared to them for taxation purposes.

It is not suggested that the man who put up the cash was Jaber Mohamed.  Unfortunately, this is a name that in the Arabic world is somewhat along the lines of “John Smith” in England.   There are so many of them it is impossible to work out which one is being talked about.

It is also being mentioned that Manchester City’s method of approaching this case is similar to that in their former brush with the Court of Arbitration in Sport.   There, hearings took several years to reach Uefa (who found Manchester City guilty) and then again following the appeal, the Court for Arbitration in Sport.    By the time they did get to the CAS the case had run out of time, under Uefa rules, and so was thrown out, not on its merits, but on a technicality.

Now I am not clear about the Premier League rules in this matter in detail, but as far as I have been told, there is no time-barring rule when it comes to the Premier League enquiry, although it is possible the Manchester City are attempting to slow down the process on the grounds that they could introduce such a concept, or simply so that if the club were found guilty by the League the matter would seem to have become irrelevant by the public at large.  A stripping of Manchester City of any trophies from years before would hardly seem important if they had won the same trophies again and again, since.

However, commentators are suggesting that because there is no mention of how far back the league can go in terms of investigations, any attempt to have a case against the club once again rejected on such a technicality would itself fail – although of course such an appeal could add another year or five to the process.

What is particularly interesting here however is that the rules of the League are such that the League itself can create any punishment that it thinks fit in the case of a guilty verdict.   And I suspect that as the enquiry makes its very slow way toward a decision, the notion of punishment and the consequence of the punishment might be increasingly closely considered.

For example, if the club were found guilty, and the League decided to remove one or two of its titles and trophies, would it make any odds to the club if they were on a PSG type run of winning the league season after season?   The club could still claim the titles in its own list of achievements on its website and in its programmes and documentaries, and the media would quickly forget, as it does with all history.

One source is suggesting the League however is very aware of this and is investigating ways of punishing Manchester City in a manner that would be much more public and relevant to the date of the end of the enquiry as well as to the recording of historic victories.   One such approach for example might be to have the club thrown out of the Premier League.   We shall have to wait and see.  Meanwhile reports from within are suggesting that the rest of the league clubs are getting rather annoyed at the delays, and clubs that were relegated in seasons in which Manchester City are said to have cheated, are now suggesting they should be compensated since they lost points unfairly.

The enquiry, meanwhile, continues.

6 Replies to “Manchester City given unaccounted payments by UAE according to new report”

  1. Hoping that the FA will take drastic action should there be a guilty verdict over all 115 charges seems remote to me . But seeing as how they’re not doing anything else I’d give them a fortnight to come up with the solution and if the Clubs are not in favour of that I’d suggest the FA admin body and Manchester City are kicked out and while we’re there the PGMO along with them . End of , finito .
    Then the fit and proper owner(s) clause needs to be rigourously applied and those clubs with nation state owners kept a close eye on.
    Perhaps in future if another world cup is given to say ,Saudi ,clubs and their players will be given the choice to veto by a majority vote.

  2. What isn’t mentioned is, that this charge was part of the CAS enquiry in 2020 and was unfounded, not time barred but unfounded. Isn’t it strange that none of the “journalists”, bloggers etc, mention this?

  3. “unfounded” ? what a curious word. What actually happened was Der Spiegal provided comprehensive evidence which established guilt but was acquired illegally. Hence it was banned from the hearing. Which is why the verdict was “unproven” not “unfounded”, a very different verdict. A City supporter maybe ?

    What I find interesting is Newcastle don’t seem to be going down the same road as City, they obviously could. Maybe they figure football authorities are eventually going to start dealing with the cheating.

  4. Tony

    “One such recent example is the report in the Times that suggets that Manchester City were given two payments of £15 million in 2012 and 2013, by an undisclosed person from the United Arab Emirates”

    In a recent article I mentioned how a panal of talking heads, or idiots as they are better known, .discussed those very payments on Piers Morgan Live. They had no problem with it, including David Dean, who was plain and simply an apolagist. He was an embarresment, as were they all. This is what I said about the charade the other day:

    Regarding the ownership of clubs and the growing influence of the Far/Middle East :

    -It’s hardly been mentioned (in a negative context) until recently, and even then, given the piece by Piers Morgan last night, they see nothing wrong with any of it. As far as they seemed to be concerned the ‘states’ are going to be the saviours of the game. Apparently sports washing is okay because being gay in the 60’s was still illegal in Britain so we have no right to take the moral high ground

    Well on that basis, we still burnt witches up until about 400 years ago so we can hardly complain about a few beheadings can we?

    Has there ever been a weaker argument to justify something than “well you used to do it”? Absolutely pathetic.

    Honestly Tony, you should try to catch it if you can, it was cringing.

  5. Nitram,

    Further to your comments regarding Piers Morgan and David Dein’s position on sports washing, I wonder how you feel about Dubai’s sports washing project with Arsenal?

  6. Tim

    I don’t like any involvement with these ‘states’ and wish Arsenal were not sponsored by one. Does that answer your question?

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