What do they think in Germany about Manchester City and Uefa

By Tony Attwood

Does it matter what the media in Germany think about Manchester City and its fight with Uefa?  After all the Bundesliga does its thing, and the Premier League goes its own way, and Uefa waddles about getting itself in a tangle.  Why should anyone in England care about the rest of Europe?

Well, because the newspapers of Europe do give us a sense of what the reaction is to major events – and let’s not lose sight of the fact that the CAS ruling on Manchester City is a major event which is reverberating across Europe.

As I’ve reported many times over the years, English newspapers are very circumspect in the way that they deal with football news from elsewhere.  For example, we hear nothing about the legal battle that is going on between the Swiss authorities, Infantino, (the head of Fifa), and the Federal prosecutor in Switzerland.  In the rest of Europe this is the big news.

Nor do the English ever want to consider the issue of how slave labour has been used to build the stadia in Qatar, nor (to bring it down to a parochial level) have they wanted to look at the case we’ve been investigating of Leicester City’s extraordinary tackling figures and the lack of fouls and yellows given in the first part of the season.  (There is a little interest in that now, but still not too much).

But it is different in Europe, and here is one example.  SZ, the German newspaper, like all German media, has followed the CAS / Manchester City case very closely.  And their prime conclusion is that the verdict “does not have any of the qualities that one could have expected in a judge’s decision in a case relating to the excesses of the world of football business: wisdom, judgement, and being careful.

“A simple, straightforward consequence is that Manchester City will henceforth be considered the face of football capitalism….   the feeling that there is now extensive freedom of action in the player market again because the Cas has opened the door to let in investors who have money to burn. The main thing is that their cheques don’t bounce and are decorated with enough zeros to undo the mediocre control of the sport that is left in place.

“The verdict of the Cas judges, who come from sports and business-related areas, suggests that soon, more clubs such as Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain will appear – the former is owned by the ruling Abu Dhabi family, the latter is in the investment – Qatar’s portfolio.

“There is even an issue in the English Premier League, where many multimillionaires now find themselves pushed out of the spotlight. Jürgen Klopp mentioned that fear is returning to the League. If there were no financial guidelines anymore, according to the Liverpool coach, this would “automatically lead to a kind of global superleague with ten clubs.”

“Which clubs they are doesn’t matter, because it is no longer the club name that interests them, but the donors who are interested in playing with their toy. So the eternal debate about a league of the super rich is returning. However, the greedy owners of the football industry – whose fragile overall structure was just exposed during the Corona break, when many clubs in this country were plagued by bankruptcy fears – continue without the customer being present.  The viewers finance this high wire act through more and more channels, from TV and streaming fees to the sponsor’s product.

“But these fans will get fed up with all of this at some point and the disgusted fans could end up being the real judge of this professional business.”

This is of course not a view that is being expressed in the English media.  On the Guardian’s website today, the only mention of Manchester City in its main football section is a report on the match against Bournemouth.  There is nothing on CAS.

The Daily Mail has the headline “Man City hold peace talks with UEFA as Aleksander Ceferin and Khaldoon Al Mubarak meet after hostile FFP battle… with both parties expressing ‘a keen desire to work closely together going forward'” as if the attitude of fans and other clubs is irrelevant.

The Daily Mirror has “Overturning of Man City’s Champions League ban shows UEFA is unfit for purpose” while noting this was not a good day for football – but relegating that article to eighth position on its football home page.

So it goes on.  It is an English club that was at the heart of the battle, but the day after their squashing of Uefa via the CAS, the English media is losing interest at speed, while in Germany that is far from the case.

And that really is the point.  Reform of Uefa and the use of CAS is an issue that will be fought out through the whole of Europe, not in England.  And it is possible that this victory for Manchester City will galvanise Europe into action.

You won’t hear about this in the English media, just as you don’t hear about Infantino’s abuse of his expenses account through hiring private aircraft to attend non-existent meetings, nor vast sums of Fifa slush money being channelled through an Israeli bank.   Just as you never heard about changes in the Swiss legal system which allowed American agents to attend a Fifa meeting and arrest numerous delegates.

Except you would have read about that one three months in advance if you are a regular reader of Untold.

So, Man City will poddle along feeling they have won, and the English media will support that view by now losing interest.  But in Europe there is a seething discontent, and given that the Swiss are working hard to take out Infantino, I can’t see them letting Uefa incompetence in presenting a case that is time-barred stop them from reforming Uefa as well.





19 Replies to “What do they think in Germany about Manchester City and Uefa”

  1. UEFA to Man. City:

    ‘Come in she said I’ll give you shelter from the storm.’ (thanks Bob)

    I’m having trouble remembering the purpose of UEFA and FIFA beside lining their pockets. Is there one?

  2. I remember back in the day, watching Serie A on Channel 4, it was good stuff as they had some of the best players in the world doing their thing along with some very talented Italian footballers. The Italian clubs used to spend an absolute fortune but I’d often see half empty stadiums. Juventus, they were the club sponsored by Fiat, AC Milan had Berlusconi paying the bills and so it went each club had an extremely wealthy benefactor as I’m not too sure how many of them were self sufficient?

    I’m not saying it’s right but it’s been forever thus, just now the amount of subsidy is quite eye watering…

  3. Tony, I have read several of the articles you have posted regarding Manchester City’s alleged breeches of FFP regulations and you have clearly researched the matter at some length. Many of your articles have been an interesting read.

    Prior to CAS’ recent decision I don’t recall any publication, football club, football league, or even UEFA suggesting that CAS were not qualified to adjudicate this case.

    Since CAS’ decision I have read many articles directly stating or implying that CAS’ decision was inappropriate and that CAS are not fit for purpose.

    Can you please provide some links that explicitly or implicitly suggested that CAS were not fit for purpose prior to the Manchester City decision? I would be especially interested to read Javier Tebas’ concerns about CAS adjudicating Manchester City’s appeal prior to the decision.

    Keep up the good work!


    Tim Hogan

  4. stating the obvious, but some very powerful clubs in europe. Of course not all of them are pure as the driven snow when it comes to funding issues, but if they formed a united front, they could cause a few problems over this

  5. There is a lot of hyperbole, phoney hand-wringing, tribalism and (dare I whisper it) covert racism in the responses to the CAS ruling.
    I was of the view that whilst some form of FFP was necessary, what was planned and introduced was an Establishment pre-empted attack on behalf of the privileged, established, self appointed European footballing Royalty aimed at stopping Manchester City, PSG and any other hopefuls from following the Chelsea FC blue print which threatened the cosy clique and their financial and on-field dominance that the money ensured for them.
    On the other hand I expected UEFA to win their case because it seemed inconceivable that they would be so crass as to manufacture charges based on flimsy stolen evidence of hackers when the final arbiters would be professional, respectable, independent senior Jurists. The penalty imposed by UEFA was vicious and over the top, a bit like the 18th century hanging of a man for steeling a sheep or a lamb.
    Manchester City were rightfully incensed, they have been denigrated and treated like thieves when nothing could be further from the truth. Just visit Beswick, Clayton and Openshaw (East Manchester) and witness the considerable regeneration which has been carried out with the help of some hundreds of millions of ££ sterling invested by the Manchester City ownership.Look at the once poisonous Clayton Aniline Dye Company’s derelict factory site, 90 acres of devastation now a state of the arts sports Academy and 6th Form Eduation provision for what was one of the most depressed areas in the country.Consider what City in the Community is providing for youngsters, providing an alternative to street corner gangs and all that entails and then read the CAS full judgement before taking a position on the club – that’s the least they deserve, they certainly do not deserve the self serving snide and bile offered up by Javier tebas (la Liga) or Jose Mourinho whoo enjoyed spending Roman Abramovich’s money, or Jurgen Klopp who once laughingly threatened to give up football management rather than spend outrageous sums on players, a man whose word is his bond – or maybe not!

  6. I honestly see hatred in all of this. Manchester City football club had always maintained their stance ever since UEFA handed that ban, meaning they knew they were not wrong in any of those accusations and had always stated that they will clear their innocence and that the case was initiated by UEFA and judged by them at the same time that it was time they take it to where 3rd party will judge being the CAS and if found guilty would accept and serve the ban. One thing people must understand is the TRUTH. I see so many people jealous about their successes. If someone is exonerated of any crime it means the person is free from all the charges levelled against him. We have so many so-called big clubs with dirty deals over Europe but no one seems to be investigating them.i think it’s time we allow Man City enjoy their time.

  7. Where is my post ? Oh shit ! I forgot The Arse are founder members of the G14 /ECA Mafia. Bless! All the best laid plans of Gill and Wenger oft go aglee

  8. How much more can Utd be given before Riley and his bosses feel just a twinge of embarrassment, or attract some level of scrutiny?

  9. Mandy……..there are a few questions and subsequent conclusions one can draw from these events:

    1) Are big football clubs essentially immune to serious consequences from their malfeasance?
    Answer: basically yes

    2) Will these powerful clubs form a ¨united¨ front ever?
    Answer: Never ….unless their bread and butter is threatened

    3) What are the limits to the PIGMOB and Riley’s malfeasance and will they ever feel embarassed or attract scrutiny?
    Answer: There are NO limits, as has been shown by UA in the past. Embarrassement is not in their Laws of the Game. Scrutiny is anathema to their machinations and perversity and money is their shield against such investigation.

    Your questions are valid but naive…..we know nothing will happen as nobody wants to tip the applecart.

  10. Could somebody confirm to me that VAR is to be used for clear and obvious mistakes by the referees or carry out a hidden agenda , I’m baffled after the last two(2) weeks of EPL games .

  11. 34 Years – you could have seen where your post was by looking at our page on the topic – there for all to see. But as you had difficulty, I will explain simply for you. All posts from people who have not posted here before are held for moderation, which at the moment is just done by me. Since I also work and have the remains of a social life, I am not on line all the time, and so with a first post there can be a delay.
    After that people who post reasoned arguments are free to post without moderation, while those who post items that are contrary to our guidelines may be put in constant moderation.
    I am sorry you chose not to read our quite simple regulations put in place to make this a site of reasoned argument. I am sure you will find other sites more to your taste.

  12. Martz – that final point is where those of us running this site disagree. We are tracking loads of cases across Europe – many not reported at all in the UK media. In fact I am not sure any English site is doing more to track corruption in football across Europe.

  13. A large number of comments have been blocked as they don’t follow our basic guidelines. Setting up multiple accounts, using fake email addresses… really it is all a bit silly.

  14. So now that it’s a free for all , with no more kid gloves or iron fist around , almost anyone can now come in as an genuine investor . As long as he/she passes the EPL’s fit and proper persons criteria . Plesae stop giggling !

    Now the question arises how low would clubs and their fans stoop to attract new investors ? Nearly everyone is feeding at the trough , and others may not want to wait their turn for the swill .

    I for one hope that the Arsenal stay on the true course , no matter what. We have had endured long sleeps before , so most of us will remain firm and resolute .I do also hope that our youngsters , and senior players stay the course and remain loyal to the club , and that we will once again be a top team.

    Up the Gunners !

  15. Tony,

    Thanks for your reply and the link to the CAS / Barcelona article from 2014.

    I was really hoping you might be able to provide an article, from a third party publication, citing the industry’s ‘talking heads’ concerns regarding CAS adjudicating MCFC’s recent alleged FFP transgression(s), prior to CAS’ judgement earlier this week.

    With regard to this case the only major concern I recall being debated was whether CAS would reduce the two year European ban handed down by UEFA to one.



  16. What I really cannot understand is this:
    If it was such a watertight case, that deserved such a severe punishment, why was the case demolished in a matter of hours once it went to appeal?

    Either the case was so ill prepared it was easily overturned, despite there being truth in the accusatiions, or City presemted clear evidence that the charges were false.

    What I found equally absurd, was the attack by Pep on other managers after the verdict…especially Arsene Wenger!!!

    It seems pep had done the homework regarding his attack on Arsene, in the same way that EUFA had regarding City>

    AH well, it proves Arsene was right (yet again) regarding this subject, as always a visionary.

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