European football’s governing body, UEFA, has begun a form investigation process into the allegations towards Manchester City after it was revealed that the club had broken the rules regarding financial fair play, according to German magazine Der Spiegel.
City have been accused of hiding investment made by their owner, Sheikh Mansour, and disguised it behind sponsorships with the airline of the billionaire’s home nation, Etihad Airways.
Yves Leterme, the chairman of CFCB (club financial control body) has been quoted as saying that if these allegations turn out to be true, City will face the “heaviest punishment”, which could well see the club left out of the Champions League competition in the coming future.
UEFA have said in a statement: “The Investigatory Chamber of the independent UEFA Club Financial Control Body has today opened a formal investigation into Manchester City FC for potential breaches of Financial Fair Play regulations.
“The investigation will focus on several alleged violations of FFP that were recently made public in various media outlets.
“UEFA will make no further comments on the matter while the investigation is ongoing.”
Manchester City then released a statement, reading:” Manchester City welcomes the opening of a formal UEFA investigation as an opportunity to bring an end the speculation resulting from the illegal hacking and out of context publication of City emails. The accusation of financial irregularities are entirely false. The Club’s published accounts are full and complete a matter of legal and regulatory record.”
City were previously punished for breaking FFP rules in 2014, although they were hut with just a fine. UEFA said in February that if further evidence is found, past cases may be re-examined.
Pep Guardiola’s side can little afford to be kicked out of Europe’s elite competition as they continue their bid to become one of the greatest teams of this era, so it will be of utmost interest to all onlookers and supporters what the outcome of this will be.
It has also been revealed that a dozen Premier League clubs have written to the Football Association asking what they are going to regarding the allegations, with it possible that they took could order sanctions.
City boss Guardiola has commented on the situation, saying he trusts the club over their handling of the situation.
"Hopefully it can finish as soon as possible and UEFA can decide what they see," he said. "I trust a lot what the club has done because I know.
"I think the club made a statement yesterday so I could not add more than that, but hopefully they can solve it as soon as possible."