Wednesday, March 3, 2021

financial fair play in small shape after defeat against Manchester City

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Mansour Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan has spent countless dollars on Manchester City since 2008. Introduced five years later, financial fair play (FPF) nevertheless stipulates that a European football club must only take out of their pockets ‘he won. Just between 2010 and 2019, this member of the royal family of Abu Dhabi invested 1.4 billion euros in player transfers to make a dying club, living in the jealousy of the results of its neighbor from Manchester United, a quadruple champion of England and a contender – rejected for now – to victory in the Champions League.

Monday, July 13, the Emirati Sheikh may have won his most precious victory for his dear club. Five months earlier, UEFA had suspended Manchester City from participating in its European Cups for the next two seasons for failing to comply with the FPF. But there was a return match to negotiate and the lawyers for City won it on Monday before the Arbitral Tribunal for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne.

“Manchester City did not disguise its sponsorship contracts but failed to cooperate with UEFA”, justified the CAS in its decision. The Mancunian club also sees the fine imposed by the European body drop from 30 to 10 million euros (payable within 30 days). Almost a drop when you have an annual budget of 565 million euros.

Read also Manchester City escapes Champions League exclusion

“It’s still a big club that is doing well”

At the time, the February 14 decision appeared to be a major turning point. For the first time, UEFA dared to eject, through its financial fair play rules, a member of the European Top 10 from its competitions. Can the snub, legal and media, inflicted by the CAS call into question the regulatory instrument wanted in its time by Michel Platini, while he chaired the body that caps European football?

The CAS accuses Manchester City of its lack of collaboration with UEFA, roughly having lied about its sources of income during the investigation, but considers that what is criticized of the club on the merits is prescribed. It is a great hypocrisy “Deplores Pierre Rondeau. According to this football economist “ this decision is not called to set a precedent and to bury financial fair play as some have already argued. “

We do not know the factual basis on which the CAS ruled that there was not enough evidence to say that Manchester City had manipulated its accounts “, nuance Antoine Duval, researcher in European sport law at the Asser Institute, in the Netherlands. On March 19, 2019, the CAS had already ruled in favor of Paris-Saint-Germain in another procedure related to the FPF.

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