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Report: Man City Could Fight UEFA Over FFP
Guardian, May 7th, 2014 12:29PM

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TAGS:  england, france, soccer business

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Manchester City is reportedly furious with UEFA for being offered similar settlement terms to Paris Saint-Germain over the European governing body’s new Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules, as it emerged on Tuesday that both clubs face fines of nearly 50 million pounds ($84.8 million) in addition to restrictions on their big-money squads. According to the Guardian, City has until Friday to either accept the settlement that is on the table or bring the matter to UEFA’s club financial control body’s adjudicatory chamber, which could result in even harsher sanctions for the Abu Dhabi-backed club.

Although UEFA found that City lost 153 million euros ($213.1 million) in 2011/12 and 2012/13, City’s maintains that it was very close to meeting the FFP standard of losses totaling 45 million euros ($62.7 million) over those two seasons. Club insiders insist that the ability to write off the value of player contracts signed before 2010 when the rules were unveiled, as well as write down investments in youth development and infrastructure, including expenditures on its new franchises in New York City and Melbourne, respectively, allowed the Premier League giant to narrowly comply.

Meanwhile, Qatar-backed PSG is reportedly close to agreeing to UEFA’s sanctions, more or less admitting that its 200 million euros-per-year deal ($278.6 million) with the Qatar Tourism Authority was valued at twice as much as it should have been. However, City’s 10-year deal with Abu Dhabi’s national airline Etihad Airways is only worth 35 million pounds ($59.4 million) per year.

As the report points out, so angry is City, that the club could be willing to appeal the matter all the way to the European Union’s court of arbitration for sport, but the danger is that with every legal challenge, UEFA could become tempted to ban the club from next season’s Champions League altogether.

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