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Manchester City reportedly given £30 million by ‘mystery figure’ from United Arab Emirates

A leaked report has revealed that a mystery figure paid City millions that was disguised as sponsorship funding.

A leaked report has revealed that huge sums of money were paid to Manchester City by a mystery figure from the United Arab Emirates.

A report in England from The Times has revealed that Manchester City were given two payments of £15 million in 2012 and 2013, both of which were made by a mystery figure from the United Arab Emirates. The money did not come from a sponsorship deal and journalist Matt Lawton says that “UEFA couldn’t identify who he was”.

The club are under investigation by the Premier League for 115 alleged breaches of the league’s financial rules, and this incident is said to be one of the many on the list. The story from The Times says that a report from Uefa’s financial control body was “produced in 2020 but never published” and that it “concludes that the two £15 million payments from 2012 and 2013 were made to cover sums that were supposed to have come from one of their main sponsors”.

They concluded that the payments, meant to have arrived from UAE-owned telecoms firm Etisalat, were actually ‘disguised equity funding’. The man who provided the money was named by City lawyers during UEFA disciplinary hearing as Jaber Mohamed: “We think he is not far removed from the people that run the [UAE]”, said Lawton.

Could Manchester City be banned from the Champions League?

City were found guilty of ‘serious breaches’ between 2012 and 2016 which related to UEFA and their financial fair play scheme; for this they were given a two-year Champions League ban. However, after appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the ban was overturned and the fine was taken down from €30 million to €10 million. The reason that the ban was overturned and City were not punished is because CAS said most of the alleged breaches ‘were either not established or time-barred’, meaning that they were too long ago to receive any form of punishment.

What Premier League punishments could Manchester City face for?

In this case, it is the Premier League’s duty to investigate and punish Manchester City if they are proven to be guilty. The punishments are large and range from a simple points deduction to trophies and titles being stripped. There is, unlike UEFA, no time scale on how far back the league can go in their investigations, meaning that nothing can be ‘time-barred’ like we saw with the previous charges City faced.

Can Manchester City be relegated?

In theory, yes. The Premier League has the power to expel a club from the league and relegate them to another division. Category W.51 of the Premier League’s rulebook says that breaches would allow the commission to make “such other order as it thinks fit”, ambiguous wording which gives the league scope to punish City, should they be found guilty, however they like.