December 4, 2023

A mystery about YB ManCity’s opponent: secret government talks, billions in payments and 115 charges

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, owner of Manchester City.


Manchester City represents elite football, has one of the most talented squads ever, and has perhaps the best tactician on the sidelines in Pep Guardiola. But wait, was there something?

no time? Blue News sums it up for you

  • Manchester City faces 115 charges in England. In the worst-case scenario, the UAE-controlled club faces forced relegation.
  • The investigations against the club have their roots in the ‘Football Leaks’ scandals of 2018. After UEFA’s guilty verdict was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2020, there is now a risk of conviction by the Premier League.
  • It is possible that the British government has not yet said its final word. It maintains positive relations with the United Arab Emirates. It concerns payments worth ten billion pounds. Great Britain does not want to provide any information about the secret discussions.

It’s Tuesday 9pm: In the fourth Champions League group match, Bernese Young Boys will play perhaps the toughest match in world football. Since a 2-1 defeat to Olympique Lyonnais on 19 September 2018, Manchester City have not lost a Champions League match at their home stadium, the Etihad Stadium. Recently, the English champions have recorded 25 wins in 27 matches. Not the best odds for YB.

But while the Skyblues’ image on the pitch grows from match to match, it has long since lost its luster. Manchester City has been accused of numerous Financial Fair Play violations for years. The English Premier League achieves 115 cases. Possible penalties range from points deduction to forced relegation. It has not been clear for years when a decision will finally be made.

He was convicted by UEFA, and acquitted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport

Things were going to get really uncomfortable for Manchester City in 2018. Back then, around 70 million leaked football documents were uncovered by Der Spiegel in collaboration with research network EIC (European Investigative Cooperation) and Portuguese football whistleblower Rui Pinto.

The documents reveal the greed, lies and secret deals behind the scenes in football. In the middle: Manchester City and its notorious royal family from Abu Dhabi. UEFA begins an investigation immediately. In 2020, it found the English club guilty of “serious breaches” of Financial Fair Play rules. First and foremost, it is about inflated sponsorship payments that artificially increase the club’s income. Manchester City will be banned from participating in the Champions League for two years.

The English take the case to the International Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne (CAS) and get justice there before a panel of three judges. The decision was criticized because two of the three judges were allowed to make the recommendation by the English club. But the fact remains: the two-year Champions League ban imposed by UEFA will be lifted.

Medallion with flavour.  If UEFA had had their way, Manchester City would have had to implement a two-year Champions League ban.
Medallion with flavour. If UEFA had had their way, Manchester City would have had to implement a two-year Champions League ban.


It has been winning the English Premier League for four years

Three years later, there was a huge explosion in the English Premier League. In a statement in February 2023, the English Premier League leveled 115 charges against the Manchester club. The claims are similar. The focus is on the sponsorship payments, which are said to have been made not by the partners involved, but by the owner’s family from Abu Dhabi.

In addition, the club is accused of withholding information and not cooperating with investigators. As reported by the British sports newspaper The Athletic, the investigations that led to the accusations have been ongoing for more than four years.

If found guilty, citizens may face severe penalties. In addition to the outrageous fines, the Premier League will have the opportunity to deduct points from the club in the current or previous season. This in turn could lead to the titles being revoked. In the worst cases, there is a risk of forced relegation or exclusion from the Premier League.

It is not yet possible to determine when the ruling will be issued. At the beginning of the year, British newspapers assumed that the mission would take “several months.” One thing is clear: Manchester City can also appeal this decision. Then another independent court takes over the case and reopens it. However, there is no possibility in England of returning the ruling to the International Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne. Under British law, the accused club cannot choose the judges.

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Secret government talks

However, Manchester City is confident of winning. She said in a statement in the spring that they were surprised by the charges against them, but they had extensive and overwhelming evidence. What could also play into the Skyblues’ interest is diplomatic relations between Great Britain and the United Arab Emirates.

The club’s owner, Sheikh Mansour, is the Vice President and Deputy Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates. His brother, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is the President of the United Arab Emirates. Manchester City has repeatedly stressed in the past that the club is neither state-owned nor funded by the UAE.

Sheikh Mansour (center) during one of his rare participation in the Champions League final in Istanbul.
Sheikh Mansour (center) during one of his rare participation in the Champions League final in Istanbul.


As the British government admitted in September, its embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Commonwealth and Overseas Development Office (FCDO) are involved in the case against Manchester City. Then he demanded”The athlete» Citing Freedom of Information Act access to discussions between the Foreign Office in London and the British Embassy.

The British government rejected this request. “Disclosing information about our relationship with the UAE government could harm bilateral relations between the UK and the UAE,” she said in a statement.

Bilateral relations between the two countries have witnessed a significant increase in recent years. In September 2021, the UAE committed to investing £10 billion in green energy, technology and infrastructure in the UK. This is in addition to previous investments totaling more than one billion pounds.