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SBD Global/February 3, 2014/FinancePrint All
Man City's place in next season's Champions League "could be challenged by rival clubs this summer" because of detailed new UEFA rules over Financial Fair Play, according to Herbert & Delaney of the London INDEPENDENT. The news comes as Chelsea Manager Jose Mourinho "cranked up the debate over football finances" ahead of Monday's showdown with Man City by declaring some clubs are dealing with FFP "in a dodgy way." Although Mourinho "did not name City," he was speaking days after Man City released its '12-13 financial results last week which showed an annual wage bill of £233M ($383M) -- £639,000 ($1M) a day. Man City's confidence that its balance sheet will pass UEFA's FFP test is "openly questioned in some quarters, with sceptics claiming they have used creative accounting to meet the guidelines, though the club categorically deny this." Now, "a new problem has emerged in the obscure though highly significant small print of the new FFP rulebook." If Man City fails to meet FFP, a "directly affected party" has 10 days to appeal against any attempt by the club to then cut a deal with UEFA "to reduce their sanction of a likely Champions League ban." Man City would then be "exposed to a UEFA tribunal." Man City's status in next year's competition "could only be challenged" if it is first ruled a FFP defaulter and then reach a "settlement agreement," which is effectively a plea bargain. The existence of such a system "has surprised FFP analysts" (INDEPENDENT, 2/2).