Manchester City: suggestions of naughty behaviour just keep on popping up.

By Sir Hardly Anyone

When a football story breaks there are often two factors that indicates whether there is likely to be any substance to it or not.

First, does the story have any details or is it general.  The scandal surrounding the building of the stadia in Qatar for the World Cup for example has resulted in details of the number of deaths, and of individuals affected by the slave labour allegations coming from a variety of sources etc.  That’s the evidence. But the rebuttals are generalised and so the stories gain traction.

Now we have an attack on the integrity of Manchester City, and it comes just days after the Court of Appeal were more critical of the Man C legal team than I have ever known them to be in such a case.  Judges in the Court can say what they like of course, but normally they don’t go that far.  

There is a lot of substance within the allegations being submitted here, and it is clear that a number of league clubs are getting a bit fed up with the League for not being able to make its multiple cases against Manchester City faster and more coherently.   Just as there was much annoyance with Uefa for losing a significant part of its case in the Court of Arbitration for Sport by being out of time.

And as I have said many times before, I’ve no special evidence on this, any more than I have on the fact that Fifa have kicked out the team that was running football in African football in order to launch their own African Super, ahead of running their own European Super League. I just follow the reports

Of course most of the English papers ignore the story while the European papers are lapping it up.  Here’s just one example.  That’s how it goes with football scandals.

But when the Europeans get going it tends to be because there is something worth investigating – we think of the court cases involving the head of Fifa and the head of the Swiss federal judicial system for example.  (Links to some of the articles on that at the foot of this piece).

In essence the Mail has claimed, citing some supporting evidence, that since 2010/11 Manchester City’s financial team have repeatedly manipulated their accounts to escape Uefa punishment.

As the Mail’s headline says, “Fresh evidence appears to show Premier League champions had millions funnelled into the club by Abu Dhabi to help inflate their income.”

The difference between the money owing and the money actually paid was then picked up by other agencies suggesting that regulations were being side-lined.  And if the money was invoiced to company A but paid by company or individual B that would be a fairly serious breach of the rules.

Now we know that the Court of Arbitration in Sport fined Manchester City €10m in the last round of the battles, so in one sense Manchester City are already under something of a cloud.  Not a very big cloud because €10m isn’t that much for them, but still a cloud.  And that is not necessarily a good place to start from.

We also know from the comments made by the judges in the current case in the Court of Appeal, the courts are getting rather annoyed with Manchester City’s delaying tactics – tactics which helped them win against Uefa as the CAS rules Uefa was out of time.

But curiously, the League don’t want Manchester City to be found guilty because it is going to make them look like an absolute load of plonkers for not getting their case right the first time round.  But they also know that if they don’t proceed eventually the rest of the larger clubs in the PL will lose patience with the Premier League management committee itself.  

Which is not what the League wants in the immediate aftermath of the setting up of Super League.

In short, none of this is straightforward.  The English courts are getting annoyed with deliberate delaying tactics, Uefa has been made to look foolish by running a case that was out of time and wants to fight back, and the rest of the League is getting angry that Manchester City might be getting around the rules in ways that they can’t.

That is the sort of legal battle that usually ends in a godawful mess.

The corruption files


10 Replies to “Manchester City: suggestions of naughty behaviour just keep on popping up.”

  1. Try not to get too excited. There is nothing new in these ‘rumours’.
    City were fined 10m for not cooperating because EUFA were leaking incorrect stuff from a confidential enquiry. Read the judgement, it’s interesting.
    The so called ‘whistle-blower was trying to extort money fro people.
    3/4 of city’s income comes from non UAE companies now.
    Some of the shite quoted in the article is before FFP existed. There’s lots more but you can tell City are in for two big signing.
    Good luck and hope you have a good season.

  2. I am intrigued by the notion that Uefa were leaking incorrect information from the enquiry and the courts fell for it. What on earth was City’s legal team doing to allow that to happen. And if they did allow that to happen, why did they appeal on the question of non-reporting and not on the issue that was incorrect.
    I’d particularly like to know the source of the statement that three quarters of Man C incomes comes from non-UAE companies, and what it was for the time under investigation in the court cases.

  3. With respect to MCFC ‘naughty behaviour’ I wonder if you have ever looked at any of the material about this on any of the MCFC podcasts or forums?

    I wouldn’t dream of suggesting it is more accurate than your normal sources but it might give you an alternative perspective that might benefit your own musings.

    I imagine MCFC ‘publications’ might know quite a bit about this matter, just as you seem to know a lot more about Arsenal than I do.

    If you haven’t done so already, check out the recent podcasts from ’93:20′ and ‘The Bolt from the Blue Podcast’. Who knows they might have some insight that the European sources don’t?

    Finally, is there any chance of you elaborating on your comment, “… and the rest of the League is getting angry that Manchester City might be getting around the rules in ways that they can’t.”?

  4. Tim Hogan

    I know your question was to Tony but why on earth would anyone believe a word said on a Manchester City publication ? Even you say “I wouldn’t dream of suggesting it is more accurate than your normal sources”.

    If You want to challenge what is being said please at least do so with a source other than Manchester City.

    Have you ever heard the phrase: If it looks like an Elephant, smells like an Elephant and sounds like an Elephant, well, it almost certainly is an Elephant.

    Man City are the biggest, smelliest, noisiest Elephant I have ever seen.

  5. Nitram,

    Thanks for your input.

    If this happened to be a story about Tottenham and I suggested possibly looking at some Tottenham resources to research would your comments still hold? What if the story had been about Arsenal, do your comments still hold?

  6. Tim Hogan

    I accept it’s tricky. Obviously our views are influenced by who we support.

    My point is, what Untold presents is from a variety of sources, most of which have no allegiance and are generally reporting with impartiality.

    I simply don’t think you can cite what is said in a Man City publication in defence. What they say ‘under oath’ so to speak is all that can be taken seriously.

    On a more general point, as much as how Man City behave is important and the other premier League Clubs may or may not be upset with the way they appear to be getting around the rules, the over arching point Tony is making, or at least I think it is, is the way the British Media fail to engage with this subject in anything like the way they should, or at least as the rest of continental Europe do. Much in the same way our media by and large ignores the Machinations of UEFA, FIFA and the PGMO.

    These are big stories with far reaching implications for the credibility of the Premier League, European and World football, yet all our media seem capable of doing is making up transfer stories or following Wayne Rooney around the streets of Manchester.

    Honestly I couldn’t give a **** who Rooney may or may not be meeting at night. I do care about the credibility of the game I’m slowly falling out of love with.

  7. Nitram,

    Thank you for taking the time to reply.

    I totally agree our views are influenced by who we support and because of that, even if one is able to find a completely impartial source, and I have doubts that such sources exist, the presentation of that material once sifted through our own bias can itself become adulterated.

    I don’t think I have attempted to offer any defence of MCFC’s position – they have a highly paid legal team to do that and they seem to have done a pretty decent job against UEFA. I was merely curious as to whether or not Tony had looked at the ‘other side’ to examine a slightly different viewpoint of the facts; after all, even CAS didn’t reach unanimity regarding their decision.

    There are indeed big stories regarding the credibility of football and I agree these are largely ignored by the mainstream media, that’s in part why I sometimes drop by and read Untold Arsenal amongst other sources.

    Since I’ve got your attention, what do you think the outcome of the Premier League investigation into MCFC will be, and why?

  8. Tim Hogan

    I have no idea what the outcome will be, neither do I KNOW if Man City are guilty or not, but my inclination from what I have read, which I concede is here on Untold and of course Tony may be reporting what he reads with a slant, they are guilty of at least stretching the rules to breaking point.

    If I’m honest I think Man City simply have too much money, and therefore too much power to be found guilty.

    I realise that you would say that puts Man City in a no win situation, if they are found guilty they are guilty, if they are found not guilty they used their money and power to that end.

    But I conclude with what I said earlier…If it looks like an Elephant, smells like an Elephant and sounds like an Elephant, well, it almost certainly is an Elephant.

    I still believe Man City are a very big, very smelly, very noisy Elephant.

    Despite everything you ARE the best team in the Premier League and I cannot see anyone deposing you this coming season.

  9. Nitram,

    I entirely agree that too much money equates to too much power and MCFC owner(s) certainly fall into that category – I’ll include other billionaire owners too.

    Personally, I’d love a level financial playing field but that never existed and never will.

    I hope we see a competitive league this season with results decided by the quality of the football and not by the referee teams – I wonder whether VAR decisions will be better this season. I think we could see several teams challenging at the top this year – on paper at least.

    Anyway, good luck for the upcoming season!

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