Man City and Paris St-Germain 'are cheating and should be punished'

City could face UEFA and Premier League sanctions over alleged financial doping

City could face UEFA and Premier League sanctions over alleged financial doping

Manchester City have been alleged to have hidden more than half the salary to their former manager Roberto Mancini when he joined the club in 2011.

If they were indeed seized illegally, that could present its own challenges in a potential legal battle with City's lawyers.

A statement from Etihad said: 'The airline's financial obligations, associated with the partnership of the club and the broader City Football Group, have always been, and remain, the sole liability and responsibility of Etihad Airways'.

On Friday, Der Spiegel disclosed how Infantino did a secret deal over FFP sanctions with City's Abu Dhabi owners and Paris St-Germain's Qatari owners while he was general secretary at UEFA.

Der Spiegel on Wednesday published a third instalment of its series on Manchester City, all based on documents from Football Leaks.

Under UEFA's "Financial Fair Play" rules, clubs must be transparent about revenues and broadly balance them against expenditure.

City were fined 60 million euros by UEFA in 2014 for breaching those rules, but the two parties reached an agreement under which the club would get 40 million euros back if they stuck to the terms of their settlement.

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Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak, left, with chief executive Ferran Soriano at Etihad Stadium before a match.

Mancini signed two contracts on the same day - one a base £1.45 million a year for City, before bonuses, and the other a base £1.75 million with the Abu Dhabi, paid into an offshore shell company in Mauritius called Sparkleglow Holdings. "But internal emails tell a different story, providing evidence of backdated contracts, illusory sponsoring payments and cavalier, "We can do what we want", business practices". "I'm focused on what happens on the pitch, in the locker room", said Guardiola on Tuesday on the eve of City's Champions League clash with Shakhtar Donetsk.

Since Man City was bought with Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth in 2008, a team long in the shadows of more glamorous Manchester United has overtaken its rival on the field. UEFA's rules are created to encourage clubs to live within their means and prevent fatcat owners, many of them with unlimited funds, from buying their way to success to the detriment of less affluent rivals.

French Uefa president Michel Platini was the man behind FFP.

"We will need to fight this", Soriano wrote, according to the magazine, "and do it in a way that is not visible, or we will be pointed out as the global enemies of football".

Der Spiegel said this helped turn nearly 30 million euros ($34 million) into revenue instead of a cost, for the goal of UEFA's investigation of club accounts.

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