UEFA warns Man City against cheating through flouted sponsorship deals

Last Updated: Tue, Feb 05, 2013 10:12 hrs

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has warned big-spending Premier League club Manchester City to prove they are not cheating the system with a controversial sponsorship deal.

City is backed to the tune of 400 million pounds by the Etihad airline, which is closely linked to the club's wealthy Abu Dhabi owners, but UEFA is concerned such deals could be done at vastly inflated prices, just to help clubs comply with strict new financial fair play rules, the Daily Star reports.

General secretary Gianni Infantino said everyone knows the club has to demonstrate these deals without cheating and that will be submitted to panels.

Infantino added that they have a regulation, which speaks about fair value of deals and the fact that a related party cannot just inject money into a club directly or indirectly.

UEFA published a report on Monday, which warned two English clubs, understood to be City and Chelsea that they could fall foul of the new regulations, the paper reported.

The system comes into force next year, with clubs in European competitions obliged to break even over a three-year period.

Infantino also insisted the new measures were not targeted at England, saying it is just a commonsense rule, adding they are very happy that the Football League has already introduced financial fair play.

City's 10-year deal with Etihad was described as an "improper transaction" shortly after it was signed in 2011 in a report by a committee of the Council of Europe, but the club remain confident the agreement will not stop them complying with the new regulations.

Chelsea also insist they will not break any financial fair play rules. (ANI)

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