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More details on upcoming UEFA sanctions of Manchester City and PSG

Apr 30, 2014, 1:18 PM EDT

The big game on Boxing Day sees Man City welcome Liverpool to the Etihad Stadium. Getty Images

Leave it to our friends at Soccerly to do the math on the impending trouble for at least Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain for violating UEFA’s Financial Fair Play policy.

The report says heavy fines and a potential wage cap could be headed the way of violators, the latter a much bigger concern than the former. And it seems the clubs have had some very crafty ways to conceal just how much debt was involved.

UEFA had already said they don’t expect bans from competition.

From Soccerly:

City accumulated deficits of £97.9 million ($164.6 million) in 2012 and £51.6 million ($85.7 million) last year, but were able to write off some sums spent on facilities, youth development and a number of other items. Both Qatari-owned PSG and Abu Dhabi-owned City have a number of sponsorship deals related to their owners which the CFCB had to determine were of fair market value. PSG effectively wiped out its annual losses of 130 million euros ($180.1 million) by announcing a back-dated sponsorship deal with the Qatar Tourism Authority worth up to 200 million euros ($277.1 million) a year.

  1. chunkala - Apr 30, 2014 at 4:22 PM

    Wow, Middle Eastern mismanagement.

  2. Comrade23 - May 1, 2014 at 12:18 AM

    UEFA will do what we all expected, in the end: nothing. If your sponsorship money comes from your ownership, it’s the same as taking money out of your right pocket and putting it in your left. None of the oilygarch teams will suffer anything more than fines (from which UEFA will no doubt benefit), FFP is a joke, and the world keeps on a-spinning.

  3. serfelixculpa - May 1, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    This story just botches FFP on a couple of levels. First, neither Man City nor PSG has any debt. Not one Pound or Euro. They aren’t “hiding” anything, it’s operating losses which are the issue, but their ownership can and has covered them. A club is in debt when they take out loans they have to repay to someone, like Man Utd and Liverpool have done. Extensively. Say what you will about clubs “buying” success, but Man City and PSG pay their bills.

    Second, while I can’t speak to PSG’s finances, if you define “crafty ways” to “conceal” spending to be “openly spending major sums on updating the facilities, infrastructure, and club academy” then yes…I suppose Man City has been crafty indeed. Clubs are all allowed to spend without limit on these things and even deduct some of the costs associated with them. Man City is in the process of finishing up what will be the best academy facility in the world right across the street from the Etihad, and what never seems to get reported in these things is City’s massive commitment to and investment in the City of Manchester and the academy system.

    It makes for a more sensational headline to say they’re being “crafty” though, when in reality they have done their best to comply with the (unfair) FFP standards being applied to them. What FFP was really meant to address was clubs (like Portsmouth) which took out massive debts to splash money out for big players, then wound up not being able to service or pay down the debt. The “break even” standard…which is what is being applied to Man City and PSG even though they have zero debt…essentially tells these clubs they can’t spend what they like even though it will not cause the club to fold. That’s likely to be challenged in further appeals, by the way.

    A final note: Man City’s “losses” (which are not really losses at all but investments in the club) have, as the story notes, dramatically declined in the last couple of years. The forecast is that there will not be any loss at all for the coming season, and City’s revenues will be on par with Bayern Munich’s. In other words, City has blazed a path to FFP compliance despite the best efforts of the “established” clubs (Man Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Bayern, etc.) to shut the door on anyone ever challenging their spending…which (at least on players) is historically every bit as massive.

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