Man City CEO says allegations are false and about ‘politics’
Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano said on Wednesday (Feb 19) the allegations made against his club, which have led to a two-year ban from European football by Uefa, are untrue and politically motivated.
The European football’s governing body ruled on Friday that City had committed “serious breaches” of their Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations and failed to cooperate with their investigation, handing them a ban and a 30-million euro (S$45.2m) fine.
City, who have denied wrongdoing, said they intend to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
In an interview on the club’s website, Soriano, addressed the ban for the first time.
“Well, the most important thing I have to say today is that the allegations are not true. They are simply not true,” the 52-year-old Spaniard said.
The Adjudicatory Chamber of Uefa’s Club Financial Control Body said City had broken the rules by “overstating their sponsorship revenue in their accounts and in the break-even information submitted to Uefa between 2012 and 2016” and added that the club “failed to cooperate in the investigation”.
“We provided the evidence but, in the end, this FFP Investigatory Chamber relied more on out-of-context stolen e-mails than all the other evidence we provided of what actually happened and it is normal that we feel like we feel,” Soriano said.
“Ultimately, based on our experience and our perception, this seems to be less about justice and more about politics.”
The Abu Dhabi United Group, the investment vehicle owned by Sheikh Mansour, is the majority owner of the City Football Group, with a stake of around 77 per cent.
Soriano denied that City had incorrectly reported their sponsorship deals.
“The owner has not put money in this club that has not been properly declared. We are a sustainable football club, we are profitable, we don’t have debt, our accounts have been scrutinised many times by auditors, by regulators, by investors and this is perfectly clear,” he said.
“We are looking for an early resolution, obviously, through a thorough and fair process.
“So my best hope is that this will be finished before the beginning of the summer and until then for us, it is business as usual.” – REUTERS