Report sheds new light on Guardiola's City deal

Report sheds new light on Guardiola's City deal

At the time of the email, France legend Michel Platini was Uefa president.

Pep Guardiola claimed earlier on Tuesday that he knows nothing about it due to his focus being on his players and tactics as a manager, though eternal rival Mourinho admitted that he felt something might have been going on behind the scenes as City continue to spend big in the transfer market.

And while the club have given only a short response to the allegations to date, on Tuesday boss Pep Guardiola insisted City's success is not exclusively down to the money they have spent.

City were fined 60 million euros by UEFA in 2014 for breaching those rules, but the two parties reached an agreement under which the club would get 40 million euros back if they stuck to the terms of their settlement.

Some of City's sponsorship deals came under renewed scrutiny in Wednesday's instalment from Der Spiegel, which claimed that City remain sensitive to allegations of human rights abuse in the United Arab Emirates. "We don't believe that's the only reason - we believe it's because we've worked hard".

The Catalan coach has delivered a combination of thrilling football and results as City romped to the title with a record 100 Premier League points last season.

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The magazine has alleged that City sought to circumvent Financial Fair Play rules as club owner Sheikh Mansour topped up sponsorship deals with Abu Dhabi-based companies with discrete payments. In City's case, however, Fordham Sports Management is alleged to have done so - with City's Abu Dhabi owner reimbursing Fordham directly to the tune of £11m a year.

This rise coincided with UEFA creating rules - in consultation with the European Club Association - to limit spending within a club's ability to generate revenue. "What I can say personally on the club, of course I trust the club what they have done".

"We will need to fight this", Soriano wrote, according to the magazine, "and do it in a way that is not visible, or we will be pointed out as the global enemies of football". The sale of marketing rights in this particular instances is said to have brought in €30m, boosting revenues to further help FFP compliance.

City CEO Ferran Soriano complained in one memo that ECA members were pushing for the UEFA rules - which many thought could curb the rise of Man City and Qatari-owned Paris Saint-Germain.

Despite City's denials there have been growing calls for Uefa to investigate possible wrongdoing, including from the Spanish league.

When auditors examined the arrangement on behalf of Uefa, they described it as a "very good deal for MCFC", with one analyst stating he was having difficulty understanding how Fordham expected to make a return.

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