FFP, Man City and Uefa. Some of the new allegations that are being reported.

By Tony Attwood

This article continues from my earlier piece:  Did Uefa collude with Man City in an FFP cover up across the last four years?

Both articles continue from the investigation we did four years ago which resulted in a series of articles, the last of which was  Man City decides to take on Uefa; the result will finally decide who runs football 

So now, continuing on, I must be quite clear that of course Untold Arsenal has not done this research, and can’t validate any of the issues being discussed here, any more than we could four years ago when we were pretty much alone in the early days of following the story.  No, I’m merely doing two things.  First summarising one or two of the points raised, and second remarking on the fact that whereas we were so very much on our own on this one four years ago, with the English media initially not willing to follow the story at all, now it is getting a bit of coverage.  Perhaps not as much as what has happened in a soap opera, but a bit.   And maybe 0.0001% of this increased interest is down to us and the way we caught them out last time.

So, as we reported, Manchester City were fined £49 million for breaching the regulations, but only paid £17m of that (the rest suspended pending the good behaviour of the club in the future).  Now because of Der Spiegel there appears to be a growing clamour in Europe that this time the English press can’t a) ignore the piece and b) pretend it is just something that silly foreigners are getting all worked up about but really there is nothing to see here and we should all move on.

Well, actually they can claim that, and some of them are doing that, but there seems to be enough evidence this time to suggest that that something has to give.

There are already comments from some clubs doing the rounds that this time the clubs want the allegations properly considered, and Manchester City should be held to account – comments that recognise that four years ago Man City simply agreed to pay a fraction of the fine, and everything was let slip – with the connivence of the English newspaper and broadcasting industry who really didn’t want to know at all.   And particularly tellingly this time, one unnamed source is now quoted as saying “No other Premier League club has this kind of sponsorship model.”

Another change is the response of Manchester City.  While four years ago, the other clubs who were caught out by FFP all responded at once by settling with Uefa, Manchester City entered a prolonged period of silence.   This time they have made a statement which says, “the attempt to damage the club’s reputation is organised and clear” and note that the allegations are based on hacked and stolen information which is taken out of context.   But as even some of the UK press have noted, they haven’t actually replied to the allegations.  They don’t have to of course, but sometimes silence isn’t exactly helpful.

But above all, some of the media is covering the story this time.  Only a bit of the media and only a bit of the story, and not as the lead piece of the day, but there is movement.   I don’t know why of course, but it might just be that eventually the mainstream media did realise last time that they were being made to look stupid by utterly refusing to accept that an English Premier League club might ever do something wrong.

However that is not to say of course that Machester City are guilty.  As I pointed out in the articles in 2014 and must reiterate now, Untold isn’t doing this research – all we do is cover stories that are already out there, and which just very occasionally one of the researchers gives us a tip about – which is how we managed to be ahead of the game with the story linked to above, four years ago.  But we certainly don’t have any proof, nor have we done any hacking or stealing.  In other words, “It weren’t us m’lud.”

All we can do is quote some of the alleged emails from alleged people to alleged people.   For example it is alleged that allegedly in 2010, Manchester City discussed a £15 million sponsorship deal with Aabar Investments PJS, an investment company headquartered in Abu Dhabi with investments around the world.   Mr Pearce a board member of Mancheester City is alleged to have written,  “As we discussed, the annual direct obligation for Aabar is GBP 3 million. The remaining 12 million GBP requirement will come from alternative sources provided by his highness.”

In one section, which appears to be utterly hilarious (if I have read it right) there is a suggestion that the deal is changed so that the sponsors pay extra sponsorship money for Manchester City winning the FA Cup.  This would be perfectly reasonable of course because if a company sponsors a club and the club wins the FA Cup, the sponsors will have got a lot of extra publicity out of the final at Wembley.  I don’t know if Emirates Airlines paid Arsenal extra each time Arsenal won the FA Cup with those three wins in four years, but if they did I doubt anyone could complain.

So the deal seems fair to me, in my simplistic way, except for one thing.  Manchester City did not win the FA Cup in the year in question.   Etihad Airlines, whose name obviously comes up in some of these allegations have denied all and any wrong doing.

There’s some murky stuff lurking in here, and as with four years ago, all I can say is that such allegations need to be investigated.  The one difference is that four years ago the English media really, really, really didn’t want to know.   This time, it might be just a bit different.  I can’t say for sure, but the one or two people who kindly occasionally slip little snippets our way suggest that this time the serious media is not going to pretend it is all just fluff and flummery, and there’s nothing to see.

3 Replies to “FFP, Man City and Uefa. Some of the new allegations that are being reported.”

  1. Infantino, then big shot at Uefa himself made it possible for Man City and PSG to escape the punishment that had been given to other smaller clubs: being not allowed in the Champions League. Now he is head of Fick FUFA…. corrupt from head to feet… Disgusting.

  2. Tony

    “I can’t say for sure, but the one or two people who kindly occasionally slip little snippets our way suggest that this time the serious media is not going to pretend it is all just fluff and flummery, and there’s nothing to see”

    I hope you are right but I’m sorry I just cant see it. As I mentioned elsewhere, just take a look at Oliver Holts article on pep Guardiola a couple of weeks ago in the Mail On Sunday:


    It’s a disgraceful a misinterpretation of reality that you are ever likely to read. Take the following:

    “Everything about City at the moment suggests that they are on the verge of a period of dominance not seen in our domestic game since Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge at Old Trafford. Like the heroes he referenced, Guardiola is building something, too. With his energy, his verve and his intensity, he is trying to create his own masterpiece in England’s north west.”

    “Guardiola is building” Really ????

    The article hardly mentions the money, certainly not in the context of what Guardiola has spent.

    In his 3 years he already has a Nett spend of £375 MILLION. £375 MILION in 3 years for pitys sake.

    That is simply incredible on it’s own, but when you realise that that spend is on top of £222 MILLION Nett spend over the proceding 3 years it is simply mind blowing.

    If a manager CANNOT build a masterpiece on the back of that then when can he ? Both Ferguson and Wenger built masterpieces on a fraction of that.

    Should we really be lauding a manger in the same vein as either of those when it costs him HALF A BILLION POUNDS to do so?

    Honestly I don’t get it.

    But my point isn’t even really about the mind boggling amount of money City are spending, but more about the way Holt can simply brush over it as a mere irrelevence.

    Does Holt give a shit what kind of rougime the money comes from ? Obviously not.

    The Human rights of the state it comes from ?

    The simple immorality of spending such vast amounts on football players ?

    And all from a state that doesn’t even offer it’s citezens basic human rights !

    And why doesn’t he care?

    He doesn’t care because he himself is wallowing in the trough of money these people are pumping into the game.

    He himself is riding on the backs of the people being denied their human rights.

    Holt is just another hack who to me appears to have no morals, values or principles, and who is happy to see people suffer, as long as Pep can Spend another £100 Million in his glorious attempt to build his ‘masterpiece’ in Englands North East.

    But this is the saddest, sickest part Tony.

    Holt DOES know about the injustices of which we speak.

    Holt DOES know the nature of the rougime from which this money comes.

    Holt DOES know to what extent City have gone to circumnavigate rules that do not suit them.

    BUT HE DOES NOT CARE, and nor does anyone else with there snout in the trough, and that is shameful, and that is why nothing will change.

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