According to reports reaching us, it is believed that Premier League giant Manchester City is currently under investigation. The report says the club is charged with illegal payments for underage players, inflated sponsorship deals, and hidden salary payments made to former manager Roberto Mancini.
Why Manchester City is being investigated
The Premier League has been investigating the club for three years, the report also states. The details from the investigation conducted in conjunction with the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) journalism network reveal that each of the three areas claims to form the focus of the Premier League’s inquiries.
Neither Manchester City nor the Premier League has opened up on the matter. However, it is understood Man City believe the latest details are a continuation of previous allegations about Financial Fair Play regulations, which they feel are designed to damage the club. It is thought the club also wants to respect the ongoing process with the Premier League which is why they have not commented on the matter.
The investigation reveals that the Premier League champions allegedly pressured underage players “to sign contracts with them through monetary payments, which is against the rules. Club sponsors in Abu Dhabi are alleged to have “provided only a portion of their payments to the club themselves”, with the remainder reportedly made up by club owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a member of the Abu Dhabi ruling family.
The club is also accused of paying a “significant portion” of former manager Roberto Mancini’s compensation “by way of a fictitious consultancy contract”. Two years ago, the club had a two-year ban from European club competitions overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport after Uefa had ruled they had committed “serious breaches” of Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations between 2012 and 2016.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport said City had shown a “blatant disregard” to Uefa’s investigation into potential FFP breaches, even though it found “no conclusive evidence that they disguised funding from their owner as sponsorship”.
Uefa began its investigation into City after Der Spiegel published leaked documents in November 2018 alleging the club had inflated the value of a sponsorship deal, misleading European football’s governing body.
During testimony to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, a legal representative of the Finance Ministry in Abu Dhabi claimed Abu Dhabi United Group Investment & Development (ADUG) – which owned Manchester City until last year – was “completely unconnected” to the government of the United Arab Emirates or the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
In 2021, City lost a ruling by the court of appeal, which confirmed that the Premier League was continuing to investigate the champions for alleged breaches of financial fair play. The city’s legal team did not want it to report that it was challenging the jurisdiction of Premier League arbitrators to investigate the case.
According to the reports concerning the new allegations, the investigation drags on, and league bosses could now come under pressure from other clubs to conclude. It has been suggested that the league does not have the same time limitations on its investigative power as Uefa did. But by the time its investigation is completed, however, City could easily have claimed a fourth title in five years.