The investigative service has revealed that the Cityzens invested as much as €2.7b in the last seven years.
In an astonishing set of events, football-based website Football Leaks claimed that UEFA helped English club Manchester City and French football giants Paris Saint Germain avoid Financial Fair Play(FFP) rules established by UEFA themselves.
According to an investigation published by the website, European football’s governing body helped both the clubs to conceal their shortcomings with respect to the FFP, during the tenure of Michel Platini and Gianni Infantino. Around 80 journalists, who were part of the European Investigative Collaborations(EIC), analysed 70 million documents over the duration of 8 months to conduct the investigation.
Both the clubs, currently funded by Middle East sources, have escaped punishment for breaking FFP regulations. Around 2.7 billion Euros have been invested in City by via their Abu Dhabi-based owners while PSG’s five-year agreement with Qatar Tourism Authority also looks suspicious.
UEFA rules say football clubs cannot spend more than they earn in any given season and shortcomings must fall within a 30 million-euro limit over the course of three seasons.
Both Manchester City and PSG were levied a fine of 60 million euros by UEFA in May 2014, but both were told they would get 40 million euros back if they stuck to the terms of their settlement.
French website Mediapart also claims that Gianni Infantino, then UEFA General Secretary and current FIFA president, played a part in negotiating an agreement directly with English Club Manchester City, bypassing the Financial Control Panel of UEFA. Supposedly, the former French president and PSG fan Nicolas Sarkozy was also a part of this alleged conspiracy.
However, Sarkozy’s press officer denied the claims stating, ”as a lawyer, Nicolas Sarkozy provided no counsel to the people you mention.”
English heavyweights Manchester City also reacted to Mediapart’s allegations, saying that” the attempt to damage the reputation of the club is organised and clear.”
On Friday after the investigation was published, FIFA attacked the claims, stating that it was a deliberate attempt to “undermine the leadership “of World Football’s governing body.
“It seems obvious from the ‘reporting’ carried out in some media outlets that there is only one particular aim — an attempt to undermine the new leadership of FIFA and, in particular, the President, Gianni Infantino, and the Secretary-General, Fatma Samoura.”
The FIFA President also added in a statement: “It is always a challenge to change things, to move forward, and to bring people together in order to do things better.”
“And, as we are resolutely implementing the reforms at FIFA, it was always clear to me that I would face strong opposition, especially from those who cannot anymore shamelessly profit from the system they were part of.”
PSG were also quick to come up with a statement, saying that they have” always strictly complied with all applicable laws and regulations and firmly denies the allegations published today by Mediapart”.
The French club’s delegate director general Jean-Claude Blanc later told Agence France-Presse that “there was no secret agreement with UEFA, everything was done with the most complete transparency.”
The Heavyweights have been under scrutiny since they broke the transfer record for Neyamr Jr in 2017 when they signed him from Barcelona for 222 million Euros. The club was under a UEFA investigation for the same. However, the various sponsorship deals PSG has with the Qatar National Bank and QTA complicated the case.