Man City have been banned from the UEFA club competitions for the next two seasons by Uefa and fined €30m (£25m) after they were found to have seriously misled European football’s governing body and broken financial fair play rules.
The severity of the ban from both of Uefa’s elite club competitions, and the scale of the fine, reflects how seriously Uefa’s FFP compliance bodies consider the club to have breached the rules and code of conduct.
City were found guilty by Uefa’s Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) of having falsely inflated their sponsorship revenues, when they made submissions for the FFP compliance process. The guilty finding follows an investigation sparked by the publication of “leaked” emails and documents by the German magazine Der Spiegel in November 2018.
The “leaked” emails and documents appeared to show that City’s owner, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the Abu Dhabi ruling family, was mostly funding the huge, £67.5m annual sponsorship of the City shirt, stadium and academy by his country’s airline, Etihad. One of the leaked emails suggested that only £8m of that sponsorship in 2015-16 was funded directly by Etihad, and the rest was coming from Mansour’s own company vehicle for the ownership of City, the Abu Dhabi United Group.