Europe’s football governing body UEFA, announced on Thursday that they are commencing a formal investigation into Premier League champions, Manchester City, over alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play rules.
The investigation follows the allegations published in German magazine Der Spiegel, who throughout their football leaks series, claimed that Manchester City ‘systematically broke UEFA’s FFP rules’. The magazine claims that
The magazine claims that among other financial discrepancies, City covered the cost of their sponsorship deals with their owners in Abu Dhabi, to bring more money to the club under UEFA’s radar.
This can have huge implications as if found guilty of breaking FFP, City could face a possible ban from the Champions League and even be sanctioned with a transfer embargo over a prolonged period of time.
It is thought that some of the information released by Der Spiegel was illegally accessed by Portuguese hacker Rui Pinto. Pinto has since been extradited from Hungary and is facing charges of hacking and illegally accessing information about the financial dealings of European giants Manchester City and Paris St. Germain.
In light of the allegations, at least 12 teams from the top flight are planning on writing to the Premier League, to identify their stance on the investigation, and enquire over if action will be taken against the league leaders.
City, who currently sit one point above Liverpool at the top of the league, immediately released a statement regarding the announcement of the investigation. “Manchester City welcomes the opening of a formal UEFA investigation as an opportunity to bring an end to the illegal hacking and out of context publication of City’s emails.”
Pep Guardiola’s team face FC Schalke on Tuesday in the Champions League, could this be their last time in the competition for some time?