New email cache puts spotlight back at Man City’s sponsorship dealing

July 31 – Manchester City’s battle with UEFA over alleged financial fair play breaches is back in the spotlight after the German newspaper Der Spiegel, on whose leaked information UEFA originally based their case,  claimed it had fresh evidence showing that  City had lied to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Earlier this month, City won their appeal against a two-year ban from European football when CAS threw out UEFA’s sanction in what was arguably the most significant judgement since FFP was introduced a decade ago.

CAS followed this up by saying, in its full judgement, that it found “no conclusive evidence” that City had disguised funding from their owner as sponsorship, a judgement that allowed the club  to carry on as usual.

UEFA’s investigation against City was based in part on emails obtained by Football Leaks, which were then published in Der Spiegel. Those emails claimed that City inflated sponsorship revenues so that they could comply with FFP rules.

The German newspaper has now published new emails relating to City’s past sponsorships by Abu Dhabi state companies, which it claims casts doubt on the CAS judgement.

In Britain, the Guardian claims that in one of these emails, a City representative set out that he was “forwarding” the Etihad airline £91 million of £99 million owed to the club for its sponsorship, with Etihad providing only £8 million.

The club immediately hit back strongly, saying in a statement:  “The questions and matters raised by Der Spiegel appear to be a cynical attempt to publicly re-litigate and undermine a case that has been fully adjudicated, after detailed proceedings and due process, by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

“Manchester City’s policy remains not to comment on out of context materials purported to have been criminally obtained from City Football Group and Manchester City personnel.”

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