Guardiola signed for Manchester City while coach of Bayern

Lynette Rowe
November 8, 2018

"Manchester City have cheated and should be sanctioned".

Some of City's sponsorship deals came under renewed scrutiny in Wednesday's instalment from Der Spiegel, which claimed that City remain sensitive to allegations of human rights abuse in the United Arab Emirates.

"I am inside now for the past three years and I would say of course like many, many clubs around the world there is a lot of money, but they are an incredible club".

However, leaked internal emails in German publication Der Spiegel look to confirm that City's wealthy owners have pumped millions of pounds into the club outside the permitted limits of the FFP rules, using their other Abu Dhabi based investments such as "Etihad Airlines" as an aid to bend the rules.

The disclosures came as Gianni Infantino, the Federation Internationale de Football Association president, defended his role in secretly helping City negotiate a FFP settlement with Uefa.

Manchester United have gone through the agony of seeing arch-rivals Manchester City turn into a footballing superpower in the last few years. We want to follow all of FIFA's and UEFA's rules, there's no doubt about that.

La Liga, the Spanish top flight, has said that, if UEFA does not act, it will "launch a complaint with European Union competition authorities". "We want to do what we have to do in terms of the rules".

Der Spiegel is planning to publish further stories related to City on Wednesday and Thursday.

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The official response from City to Der Spiegel's request for comment remains, "The attempt to damage the Club's reputation is organised and clear".

In 2013, they came up with the idea of was hiving off payments of marketing and image rights to players through an "independent" third party called Fordham Sports Management, funded by City's parent company, Abu Dhabi United Group.

It created "Project Longbow", the name seemingly chosen because it was the weapon of choice for the English army against the French at the famous medieval battles of Crécy and Agincourt.

"We will need to fight this", Soriano wrote, according to the magazine, "and do it in a way that is not visible, or we will be pointed out as the global enemies of football".

The "Football Leaks" documents, which include emails, contracts and presentations, were obtained by German publication Der Spiegel and reviewed by Reuters in partnership with worldwide media consortium European Investigative Collaborations.

Uefa found City had breached FFP rules in 2014 and the two parties reached a settlement, with City paying a £49m fine - £32m of which was suspended - while their Champions League squad was reduced for 2014-15.

It says that Uefa was unaware of the arrangement with the external company and it was only raised when auditors from PricewaterhouseCoopers took a closer look on behalf of the European football governing body.

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