Manchester City & Football Leaks Explained

Manchester City & Football Leaks Explained


It has been a joy to watch Manchester City
this season. Even without long term injury absentee Kevin De Bruyne, City’s revolving
cast of superstars have continued Pep Guardiola’s revolution. Last season, they romped to the
Premier League title with 100 points, 18 points clear of their city rivals Manchester United
in second place. That kind of dominance doesn’t just take skill,
or luck. Almost always – and Leicester City are perhaps the only exception to this rule
– it is the richest team that wins. And Manchester City is the richest of the rich.
Their success did not come cheap. Since the club was sold to Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed
al Nayhan – a leading member of Abu Dhabi’s royal family – in 2008, hundreds of millions
of pounds have been poured in to the club. The area around East Manchester was renovated.
The club now had world class facilities as well as a network of the clubs all around
the world – in the US, Uruguay, Australia, Spain and beyond – all under the City Football
Group umbrella. It was all thanks to an unlimited supply of
money – yes – but also to the prudence and strategic forward thinking of the owners
from the United Arab Emirates, right? Canny businesspeople who turned the biggest loss
in football history – £197 million in a single season – into a £10 million profit
last season, the third season in a row the club was in the black. In 2015, 13 percent
of the club was sold to Chinese investors for $400 million, valuing the club at today’s
exchange rate at £2.4 billion. Although it would likely sell for more today if the club
was put on the market. Much of this financial turnaround was thanks
to booming television and commercial revenue, with the latter proving particularly lucrative.
Huge sponsorships deals were signed with Etihad Airways, the mobile phone network Etisalat,
Abu Dhabi’s tourism authority and Abu Dhabi investment firm Aabar. All, of course, came
from the United Arab Emirates where Sheikh Mansour is the country’s deputy prime minister
and one of the UAE’s most powerful men. The companies were often run or owned by members
of his own family. There had always been question marks over the true value of those contracts;
suggestions that they had been artificially inflated to comply with UEFA’s Financial Fair
Play rules which were designed to curb just such profligate spending from the bottomless
pockets of Sheikhs and oligarchs. Or as the then UEFA president Michael Platini called
it, “financial doping”. Those accusations were dismissed by the club. UEFA did conclude
that City had inflated the market rate for its sponsorship deals, but only received a
slap on their wrists. More on that later. But, at the start of November, a very different
story began to emerge thanks to Football Leaks, a mysterious organisation that has released
sensitive documents exposing the dark underbelly of football. This batch of internal documents,
leaked to the German publication Der Spiegel and shared with European Investigative Collaborations
(EIC) appeared to show how Manchester City’s ownership had allegedly gone to extraordinary
lengths to circumvent UEFA rules to pump huge amounts of cash into the club, much of it
officially off the books so that it appeared to comply with FFP. In one leaked internal
document, dated a few days before Sergio Aguero’s famous injury time goal against QPR clinched
Manchester City its first Premier League title in 2012, the “Total Cash Investments in
MCFC” by Sheikh Mansour since his take over stood at £1.1 billion. Big spending to win the title was nothing
new of course. Jack Walker, a self made steel magnate, famously bankrolled Blackburn Rovers,
his boyhood club, to the Premier League title in 1995. But this was a different era, one
where Financial Fair Play was the order of the day. FFP was UEFA’s attempt to reign in
the debt that was threatening to sink European clubs whilst also preventing billionaires
from simply buying titles. But rather than comply, the Football Leaks revelations show
that Manchester City was hell bent on spending the money they needed to catch up with Europe’s
elite anyway, and allegedly devising a secret project to hide over £100 million worth of
investment. According to the leaked communications from
within Manchester City, the club was massively inflating its sponsorship contracts to hide
cash injections from the owner, which would be a clear breach of FFP. One such email reported
on by Der Spiegel appears to show how City’s Chief Financial Officer Jorge Chumillas outlined
how the sacking of Roberto Mancini left the club with a £10 million liability. “We
will have a shortfall of 9.9m pounds in order to comply with UEFA FFP this season,” he
wrote. “The deficit is due to RM [Roberto Mancini] termination. I think that the only
solution left would be an additional amount of AD [Abu Dhabi] sponsorship revenues that
covers this gap.” Which is exactly what they did. Simon Pearce,
an Australian PR executive who sits on City’s board and who is in charge of massaging Abu
Dhabi’s international image and reputation, suggested backdating sponsorship contracts
including a fee for winning the FA Cup. When Chumillas asked Pearce if that was possible,
Pearce replied: “Of course, we can do what we want.” Most damningly the emails appeared
to show that other contracts were in effect sham deals funded by the Abu Dhabi royal family.
Take the £15 million sponsorship deal with Aabar. It was, in fact only £3million from
the company, the rest from the family. “As we discussed, the annual direct obligation
for Aabar is GBP 3 million,” Pearce allegedly wrote in one email. “The remaining 12 million
GBP requirement will come from alternative sources provided by His Highness.” This
was, in effect, an attempt to cook the books and pull the wool over UEFA’s eyes, disguising
cash investments by “His Highness” to make Manchester City appear to be more profitable
than it was. In total it appeared that the extra money hidden from view amounted to £127.5
million. There were other schemes too, one dubbed Project
Longbow, that involved setting up a shell company to buy the image rights of players
from the club, which opened up what looked like another stream of income. In effect,
the money allegedly came from Abu Dhabi. Even Roberto Mancini’s contract appeared to be
part paid by a football club in the UAE. Mancini was also contracted to “advise” Al Jazira,
an Abu Dhabi club owned by Sheikh Mansour, which isn’t part of CFG. It was another attempt
to get more money of City’s books. But this still wasn’t enough. When FFP was
rolled out, for the 2013-2014 season, UEFA’s investigators zeroed in on what looked like
artificially inflated sponsorship contracts. Two clubs in particular concerned UEFA. Manchester
City and PSG, effectively owned by the state of Qatar. PSG had signed a five year, £190
million a year contract with the Qatar Tourism Authority. The value of the contract was close
to £1 billion. UEFA decided that the true value of the contract was just under £2.5
million a year. The same discrepancies were found at City. But rather than accept censure,
which could have included a huge fine and a ban from the Champions League, according
to the leaks City threatened UEFA with legal action that could bankrupt it. The club’s
lawyer Simon Cliff allegedly wrote in an email that City’s chairman “Khaldoon [al Mubarak]
said he would rather spend 30 million on the 50 best lawyers in the world to sue them for
the next 10 years.” UEFA would have to decided whether to proceed as planned or “avoid
the destruction of their rules and organisation.” The Football Leaks trove of emails showed
that the Gianni Infantino, who was then general secretary of UEFA, bent over backwards to
accommodate City and PSG for the breaches of FFP they were found guilty of. In the end,
both City and PSG accepted small fines and a mild slap on the risks. City’s internal
team declared it mission accomplished. So what’s next? UEFA’s new president has announced
that they may go back and look at City and PSG’s cases but there are doubts about whether
they can be punished given that both clubs have already accepted censure. And will UEFA
really want to take on the bottomless pit of money that the royal families of Qatar
and the UAE could use to destroy it? But the revelations have done one thing. Until
recently, the ownership of Manchester City was seen as a benign, good news story that
burnished Abu Dhabi’s reputation. But recent revelations about human rights abuses in the
country, and the appalling lose of life and levels of child starvation in the war in Yemen,
a conflict the UAE is heavily involved in, has tarnished the country’s reputation. Key figures at City like Mubarak and Sheikh
Mansour are involved in the highest level of economic and political decision making
in the UAE. Separating the team from the political and military actions of the country has become
harder. In the wake of the Football Leaks revelations, Amnesty International declared
that “The UAE’s enormous investment in Manchester City is one of football’s most brazen attempts
to ‘sportswash’ a country’s deeply tarnished image through the glamour of the game.” City have said very little about the revelations,
although they haven’t denied the probity of the documents. Instead they have said that
the leaks were an “organised and clear” attempt to “damage the club’s reputation”.
The club and city fans have long argued that FFP is any case an unfair restraint on fair
trade. Why should a club be restricted in investing their own money in their club. A
case could be made that FFP in fact entrenches the dominance of the bigger clubs, and prevents
new players, like City and PSG, from breaking that cartel. But both clubs knew the rules
and signed up to them. If UEFA decide not to investigate City and PSG’s alleged financial
transgressions, then none of these revelations will matter. It would be hard to imagine any
revelations that could. Money and political power will win. Like it always does.

100 comments on this post

    Football Review UK

    Another brilliant video!

    Reply

    fuzz man

    FFP is bullshit should be equal budget all clubs. glad city didnt follow those corrupt rules from UEFA. nothing wlll happen anyway

    Reply

    parabit

    There is no honour in buying victories. All these companies like MC, PSG, Chelsea, Real Madrid, and sadly many more should be ashamed.

    Reply

    Ian Tyler

    Please do a video on richarlison….he's being linked with a move to barca….or how harry Kane will fit into barcelona

    Reply

    David Hax

    Will I ever defend the ADUG for their reputation as wealthy 'overlords' that use their wealth to achieve anything their heart desires? No. Will I appreciate what they've done for the club I support and the area close to where I grew up? Yes. It's hard not to after knowing what the neighbourhoods close to the stadium were like (and still are to an extent, but much less worse) and what they are like now. And as for the football…

    Reply

    harryhammond12

    Do a Norwich city tactical profile I think that there are some really interesting things to look at

    Reply

    Patrick Dayton

    What a depressing and truthful ending to the video. "Money and political power will win, as it always does"

    Reply

    Nomads Seven

    Alway something that buffled me was city's book. They never draw that many audience when they go aboard and alway half stadium in these games but makes 2nd most revenue more than Liverpool, Arsenal which I will argue has more local and foreign support. Given winning PL gets only 20 Million extra only. How the hell they make almost 150M more is shoking. Answer is basically shell and dubious sister sponsors.

    Reply

    Dwaipayan Debnath

    City and PSG are a disgrace to football.

    Reply

    8a8a2u

    This is amazing!!
    Love the ending statement

    Reply

    bob marley

    City are Littttttt

    Reply

    ScarredDwarf 93

    C̶i̶t̶y̶ ̶a̶r̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶b̶e̶… Chelsea are the best

    Reply

    mae

    Should take their trophies away. If nothings done they will just keep doing this.

    Reply

    abdi1983

    Greedy bastards

    Reply

    Diego Quaresma

    Your channel is amazing, the way u explain things, ur simplicity and in-depth knowledge is note worthy. Love all your videos, thanks mare & do think about creating an app for news and analysis aye 🤙🏽🤙🏽

    Reply

    Ria Arman

    Want to truly solve this ? Apply hard caps like the NBA does . Until that happens , this would just continue indefinitely

    Reply

    Neil Ritchie

    Why wouldn’t UEFA go to court ? Sounds like they knew they don’t have a leg to stand on

    Reply

    fistingendakenny

    these guys are trying to buy galyway united in the republic of ireland, so they can use them as a half way house, similar to melbourne city or torque in Uruguay…

    Reply

    BENS19777

    If this is all true it is a disgrace to English football and Man City fans should boycott.

    Reply

    Irish Nurhd

    Outsiders have ruined football in england.

    Reply

    Boing Boing

    All UEFA rules aside but why never a country like the UK is following a legal issue, maybe money laundry? It´s funny that the US authorities are the only one in the last decade who followed a legal issue in football like in the case of the FIFA scandal.

    Reply

    Jax M

    Uefa would lose lot of respect if they don’t act on the reveals.

    Reply

    Jax M

    Pretty sure UEFA has $30 million dollars or more to compete with Khaldoon’s lawyers lol.

    Uefa champions league revenue is somewhere around $3 billion dollars every year and they must be pocketing at-least 30-40% of it.

    Reply

    Red List

    IF CITY GET PUNISHED THEN THIS WILL BE UEFA’S LAST DECADE

    Reply

    El Gringo

    Goodness me this was a wonderful video… I actually felt a sense of helplessness to how powerful these people are, that they can threaten the football organisation that they're currently under. wow..

    Reply

    joseph King

    I hate FFP it should be scrapped its created to maintain a caste like system. An owner should be allowed to pump money if he wants to. Great well thought out Video as always

    Reply

    ctrlaltdelete200390

    Of course! Everyone agrees with City's statement it was "an organised attempt to damage the club's reputation". I mean, the truth came out. In an organised fashion.

    Reply

    Jae

    well we dont know what other clubs have done so far but now city got exposed lmao thanks to the hate

    Reply

    shreyas bhat

    Twats those city owners are, and twats are the city fans

    Reply

    João Miguel

    i guess its obvious that City would threaten UEFA with legal action… I mean, it reminds me of spiderman pointing at spiderman

    Reply

    0981247937

    This is why they still can’t fill a stadium, artificial success, you can’t buy relevance.. you can tell now they’re spending most of their money on marketing desperately trying to gain fans.

    Reply

    Ole-Christian

    Money and political power will win, as it always does. Is this okay?

    Reply

    Kevin Farrelly

    Could we get a video on Blackpool owners?

    Reply

    mo mo

    What if revoultion or coup happened in UAE ? City will relegate to fourth division .

    Reply

    Nirmal Raj

    So city and psg.. if you win the champions league… ul be left with an empty feeling… u haven't won on your merit.. just on the merit of your sugar daddies money… pity you as a football club and pity ur values

    Reply

    I’mMiltonGaray

    Did he just say that city has fans?
    I don’t know about that one, chief.

    Reply

    A H

    +Tifo Football awesome video. Could you please share the name of the track in the background

    Reply

    ভাইসাব Bros

    City club should by Man United and rule the premier leagues.

    Reply

    MegaSlanguage

    Maybe do an updated video now the main journalist from the leaks has been proven to falsify stories? A football leaker has been, leaked…

    Reply

    Jaskaran Singh

    man city …..ccccchhhheeeeeaaaatttteeeerrrsssss

    Reply

    Trollrat

    FFP is a joke and should not exist.

    Reply

    Babelmenas

    if uefa are so afraid of arabs, why they can't put some political power behind them, to protect uefa?

    Reply

    David Ducaz

    The classic tale of money and power.. there is no justice in this world

    Reply

    Rajib Gogoi

    Only old rich clubs should play good football..if a new team is trying to achieve that with some huge money .. people don't want it.. unfair ..

    Reply

    Redon Dumani

    The so called 'leaks' are with high probability fake. Der Spiegel has been plunged into choas after some of it's top staff had falsified stories over several years. For example after Relotius got caught he told Spiegel "I am sick and I need to get help." Been a month since you posted this and no action has been taken on Manchester City, because the allegations are probably false

    Reply

    Gossip Heart

    No one knew who Manchester City were last 10 years ago.

    Reply

    Gossip Heart

    Money can buy you anything, trophies and any player imaginable.
    No one knew who Manchester City were 10 years ago.
    I’m a Manchester United fan, no Manchester United player is good enough to play for Manchester City starting lineup. (Except Pogba, De gea and Lukaku)
    We have players like Smalling, Matteo, Lindelof, Jones, Herrera

    Reply

    ABadRash

    "money and power will win.. like it always does" a sentence of ageless proportion

    Reply

    Hodor

    FUCK MODERN FOOTBALL

    Reply

    Potoo

    Is that what UTD and Real Madrid and the rest of the cartel were doing in the 90s and the next decade?

    But before inflation and the collapse of the global money market?

    Let the investigations go to hell,Sheikh Mansour can sign contracts with his dick..He owns a trillion dollars so he owns UEFA.. also love what khaldoon says
    about the lawyer lol he smashed them.

    Reply

    Md. Masum Omar Jashim

    Why can't Arabs just change their habits and rules to better their image? I know why, you need brains for it. They call themselves Muslims and yet go beyond the word of Allah. Sick people these Arabs are. Not all though, there are some good hearted people, but the sick ones outnumber them.

    Reply

    Rudrashish Bose

    Any money that comes from the middle east will always have blood on it :/

    Reply

    Angel Diez Ovelar

    As long stupid people ( Fans ) pay for football…… Go and see your local amateur club.

    Reply

    godfreemorals

    442k Subscribed, 118k views? Maybe we'd rather not hear the sad truth as football fans. That our beloved game is actually a method for the super-rich to continue f*cking over people worldwide.

    Reply

    David Clarke

    Arsenal stadium and there sponsors rwanda tourism board needs investigating beIng as they receive foreign aid from the UK.

    Reply

    Samuel Santiago

    Who is Football Leaks?

    Reply

    mike heap

    Best team in the land and all the world. CTID.

    Reply

    gomey70

    The complicity and silence of City fans is one of the saddest parts of all this. Bought for a few tin pots. It would turn my stomach to see Liverpool owned by people like the ADG, and used as a vehicle to 'sportswash' a brutal and criminal government which tramples on human rights everywhere. Hope it was worth it lads.

    Reply

    Mike Kabylr

    I have been calling them Manchester of United Arab Emirates for years now.

    Reply

    Nicolas Azoidis

    And that's how Infantino was elected with ease as president, due to his services to bend the rules and let City & PSG play their own game.
    Unless City & PSG football will remain a "buying" privilege for the rich and stupid who pay players more than can afford and more than others to lure them to their clubs even if they are subs.
    Nothing will ever change unless FIFA utilities NBA's salary system. Only then football will be an equal game. DITCH CITY & PSG !

    Reply

    James Winer

    Well said

    Reply

    c122 h122

    Man City are only used for laundering and should be broken up Pep is a fraud and the friendly face of Middle East brutality

    Reply

    DZ 27

    Abu Dhabi fc

    Reply

    Joe Farrell

    FFP was brought in to stop teams like city reaching the upper tier of football, cannot deny that. Can deny the “leaks” as they are all alleged and The German newspaper hasn’t come up with any solid proof

    Reply

    NitoNova

    As a Liverpool fan I hardly need a reason to hate Manchester City… But now… I fuckin despise them! 😠😠😠

    Reply

    mohammednhuda10

    I hate man city so much (liverpool fan) (but not salty) they find many stupid ways to win matches. Empty had as well they do not deserve to win quadruple. If they do win i would not be surprised

    Reply

    Sims J

    I’m a city fan. This was a great clear explanation thanks. I’m somewhat ashamed about the owners…

    Reply

    Marshal Kagami

    I’m so sick of Manchester city. Now least go through another summer window of them spending a disgusting amount of money to bolster an already elite team of the most expensive players in the world, with the best bench in the world, with the best manager in the world that rarely ever challenges himself constantly joining these big teams with damn near infinite funds. What klopp has built with Liverpool is sooo much more difficult than what pep has done at city he signed players that weren’t world class when they arrived and within just a few seasons they’ve become absolute ballers and are damn near close to man city’s level with lesser quality players, Liverpool don’t have world class players in every single position man city do. I despise them more and more and more with every passing season at this point.

    Reply

    HeyNowLookHere

    50 best lawyers in the world to sue UEFA for next 10 years. That's heavy shit coming from my nigga Khaldoon lol

    Reply

    AdzSONLINE

    It's a disgrace that they can so boldly cheat and get away with it

    Reply

    Ministryof Love

    It's going to be really boring if City win the league every yea like Juve in Italy or PSG in France, something needs to be done to maintain the integrity of the premier league. I'm a Liverpool fan and I wouldn't even want my team to dominate because of unlimited wealth, like PSG do in France. It just kills the competition and makes it much less interesting

    Reply

    Nishan was here

    Stop with FFP.

    Instead cap transfers and loans.

    That way elite clubs can't build up an army of players.
    So when their top players get injured they are in the same boat as everyone else – to make do with what you have.

    Reply

    English Mastiff

    If City would have so called cooked the books then it's an open and shut case surely, or are City not cooking any books just to clever for UEFA CFCB. You should change the video heading the word leaks are really the word hacked.

    Reply

    x DesertTrou x

    Hi! Whats the name of the background song?

    Reply

    LALIT NANOSKAR

    At 2:07 look properly at sponsorship image their is sarcastic joke.i love it.

    Reply

    Alex Sorenson

    To be honest I don't care how football clubs make money as money makes the world go round. All I care about is making sure we stopping match fixing.

    Reply

    Superior Being

    This is all very nice but all these actions are what is going on to some extent with other big clubs around Europe. Barca and Real have extremely murky pasts. One way to fix all this is a wages cap and a transfer cap, same to every club in Europe but those Cartel clubs don't want a genuine fair and level playing field, just one slanted towards their own domination.

    Reply

    Mohamed El Shazly

    its simply a matter of open market fairness vs protecting the status quo…. as the video concludes. a tough question to answer simply because any answer comes short on supporting spontaneous growth of small clubs.

    Reply

    atrum pontifex

    They should put an asterix beside their clib names in history records. *won but breaking ffp rules

    Reply

    LaceyFilm

    Manchester City are killing English football. Given the evidence they should be relegated, fined and banned from European competition.

    Reply

    Andrés Rocco

    prepare to ban Man Shity!!!!!!!!!!GLORY GLORY MAN UNITED

    Reply

    VOLCANO HD

    What's the problem if club owners have enough money to spend for their own clubs?
    FFP is a total mess.

    Reply

    nkosana khumalo

    FFP is a fraud, a scheme to keep a cartel on the sport. All these small teams could be bought and improve quality of the league.

    Reply

    nkosana khumalo

    People are such hypocrites

    Reply

    Benny Ceca

    Of course City cooked the books, according to their income, they make more than the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea! Complete nonsense! Those other teams are more established, much bigger fan base which is where the sponsorship deals are bigger, sponsors are not stupid to offer crazy money to a team with a small fan base! I hope they get banned from CL for a number of seasons! FFP is brought in for the right reasons, not so much to protect the other big teams but to ensure it doesn't get out of hand! Look at PSG, £200M for Neymar, £166M for Mbappe!

    Reply

    Kyle Cortes

    Liverpool would of won the Premier League…

    Reply

    Alexander Roberts

    What's needed is a monopoly buster

    Reply

    SISYPHUS VASILIAS

    No citations or sources?
    Viewers are impressed b/c it's more indepth than any other YT Football coverage that they don't question how true/accurate any of these points are.
    These vids are just rewrites from UK Press articles but dont take the responsibility the Press journalists do support their claims with evidence.

    Reply

    SISYPHUS VASILIAS

    How hasn't this channel been sued into extinction yet?
    This isn't their investigations and they don't provide sources. It's basicly just slander and libel that they get away with by being small. If the channel grows they'll have to stop making these videos. I don't see them suddenly adhering to standards of professional journalism

    Reply

    SISYPHUS VASILIAS

    Videos like this are responsible for Article 13.
    Larger media co's spent millions investigating these stories and then a YT channel just rip off the story and retell it to a secific audience with their own visuals. Almost zero citations and creditations. It's just theft and why media cos are demanding copyright protection.

    Reply

    Hammud mohd

    Fuck UEFA they only like 2 seria a club look at ac Milan & Roma

    Reply

    Andrew Messiha

    PSG and City both pump in all this illegal money and are still shit in the UCL.

    Reply

    Matt Palmer

    man that last line hurts lol, great video as always

    Reply

    Macho Fantastico

    Never realised it was that bad.

    Reply

    Fazil Orujov

    the players's eyes look creepy

    Reply

    Fazil Orujov

    i think the best thing for UEFA to do is call the lawyers of big historical clubs such as bayern munchen man utd and juventus to combine their powers and sack the shit out of city.

    Reply

    ShozzleMeNoz

    Problem with Platini's plan to stop 'financial doping' – it's illegal under EU and UK law. You can't stop someone investing in their own company on such a spurious basis. UEFA's official argument, that it's to ensure the financial sustainability of European club football by stopping clubs gambling on revenue from European competitions might be legal but only if UEFA's measures are both proportionate and no more than necessary to achieve a legitimate objective.

    This means both the weight of any punishment for breach and its intent can be challenged. Platini's statement that it's to prevent financial doping i.e. investing money in a business, is not legitimate or legal, will only help City's case that the objective of FFP is not legitimate.

    Reply

    Mitch Hakker

    Football clubs have ALWAYS been loss-making businesses funded by the next investor, so why does UEFA stick their big head in and change up a relatively stable system? Everyone who should make money does, and it’s rarely the corporate owners or higher-ups of the company, it’s the players and coaching staff!

    Reply

    Lemessa Oljira

    if only you could add the link to ur background music that wud be awsome………Great content btw.

    Reply

    celestial rex

    OIL MONEY buys you the league

    Reply

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