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Emirates Marketing Project

Discussion in 'General Football' started by JerusalemMan, 18 Dec 2017.

  1. Robbo

    Robbo Steve Carr

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    UEFA Investigators Set to Seek Emirates Marketing Project’s Ban From Champions League

    An investigation into accusations that Premier League champion Emirates Marketing Project misled European soccer’s financial regulators in pursuit of its success on the field is expected to recommend that the team be barred from the Champions League, European soccer’s richest competition and the trophy the club covets most.

    English soccer authorities and officials at UEFA, European soccer’s governing body and the organizer of the Champions League, have for months been investigating Emirates Marketing Project amid allegations of rule-breaking revealed in damaging leaks over much of the past year. Members of the investigatory chamber of UEFA’s financial control board, a group set up to analyze the accounts of clubs suspected of breaking strict cost-control regulations, met two weeks ago in Nyon, Switzerland, to finalize their conclusions.

    The investigatory panel’s leader, the former prime minister of Belgium Yves Leterme, will have the final say on the submission to a separate adjudicatory chamber, which could be filed as soon as this week. The body is expected to seek at least a one-season ban.

    Even the suggestion of a ban would be a stinging rebuke for Emirates Marketing Project and its Gulf owners, who celebrated a fourth Premier League title in eight seasons on Sunday. They long have sought to add the Champions League — club soccer’s top prize — to the club’s growing haul of domestic trophies, and any effort to bar the team is likely to spark a monumental legal fight.

    Emirates Marketing Project’s current squad, assembled and financed at the cost of more than $1 billion, is just the latest example of the financial might the club’s owner, Sheik Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the brother of the ruler of the United Arab Emirates, can bring to bear. Sheik Mansour has invested billions over the past two decades — on players, coaches, facilities and the team’s operations — to transform Emirates Marketing Project, which played in England’s second tier as recently as 2002, into one of soccer’s biggest and most successful brands.

    It remains unclear if any Champions League ban, if levied, would be enforced next season or in the 2020-21 campaign. Qualification games for next season’s tournament begin in June, meaning UEFA faces a race against time to finalize a sanction that City would have the right to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

    Emirates Marketing Project has vigorously denied wrongdoing, and its officials have warned UEFA that they would mount an aggressive response to any effort to bar the club from the competition. “The accusation of financial irregularities are entirely false,” City said in a statement earlier this year. “The club’s published accounts are full and complete and a matter of legal and regulatory record.”

    If UEFA is unable to establish a case and enforce a punishment, it risks seeing its system of financial rules — in place since 2011, and designed to impose a measure of financial fairness within the European soccer economy — rendered meaningless. Several officials on the financial control bodies also have said privately that their reputations could be harmed if their work is seen to be toothless.

    Many of the allegations of financial impropriety and rule-breaking lodged against Emirates Marketing Project came to light after they were reported by news media outlets with access to the so-called Football Leaks files. The files are said to include emails and internal club documents showing efforts by City to circumvent UEFA’s financial fair-play regulations by masking cash infusions from a United Arab Emirates state-backed investment company through inflated sponsorship agreements with entities including the U.A.E.’s national airline, Etihad. Etihad is City’s principal sponsor, its name adorning the team’s stadium, its signage during matches and even the front of the players’ jerseys.

    City has not labeled false any of the information reported to date. Instead, it has dismissed the reports as “an organized and clear attempt” to smear the club’s reputation through the publication of documents that it says were obtained illegally. The European authorities in January unmasked a Portuguese citizenas the hacker behind Football Leaks, a clandestine operation that revealed some of the soccer industry’s most closely held secrets.

    UEFA’s financial rules, first implemented in 2011, were designed to prevent clubs from risking their financial futures by overspending on talent. At the time, dozens of teams were tens of millions of dollars in debt, in part because of a rapid rise in the cost of top players fueled by lavish spending by a handful of superwealthy owners.

    The rules permit sponsorships from companies linked to a club’s owners as they try to balance their accounts, provided the agreements are struck at prices that reflect the market rate.

    Etihad signed up as principal sponsor of Emirates Marketing Project a year after Sheikh Mansur’s takeover, branding the club’s jersey, its stadium and an affiliated campus City has built. But an internal email published by German news weekly Der Spiegel last year suggested that the airline financed only 8 million pounds ($10.4 million) of the 59.5 million pound ($77.8 million) agreement, with the rest coming from ADUG, the investment vehicle Mansour used to buy City. The Speigel reports also outlined a number of other arrangements that allowed the club to evade UEFA’s financial regulations.

    According to the people with knowledge of the investigation, City’s punishment most likely will be linked to an accusation that it provided misleading statements in resolving an earlier case, as well as false statements to licensing authorities in England, and not over the true value of the sponsorship agreements. That made the case a curious fit for the financial control officials, who were assigned the case instead of UEFA’s main disciplinary body.

    In 2014, City agreed to a settlement agreement with UEFA related to an earlier breach of the spending rules; as punishment, it agreed to pay a conditional 49 million pound fine (about $63.4 million) and to accept restrictions on incoming transfers.

    As part of their current inquiry, the UEFA investigators, an independent group of governance and finance specialists led by Leterme, met with City officials in April in Switzerland. The investigators were unconvinced by the club’s explanations, according to a person with knowledge of those discussions.

    Their decision to press forward in seeking punishment against Emirates Marketing Project could have serious implications for UEFA, which essentially would be accusing a team backed by the U.A.E.’s royal family of cheating and lying to a range of stakeholders, including the Premier League, as it built itself into a champion.

    The outcome of the case will be monitored closely amid mounting concern over the credibility of UEFA’s financial fair play regulations when it comes to sanctioning the biggest clubs. Paris St.-Germain, the French club that also is owned by Gulf royalty, in its case the ruling family of Qatar, managed to avoid a major punishment recently when it faced similar questions about its sponsorship agreements, and its ability to comply with the financial control mechanisms, when it bought the world’s two most-expensive players — the forwards Neymar and Kylian Mbappé — in a single summer transfer window.

    P.S.G. and UEFA have a tangled relationship. The team’s owners also run beIN Sports, the broadcaster that is UEFA’s biggest media rights buyer. Both the club and beIN Sports are run by Nasser al-Khelaifi, a Qatari national who was elected to a position on UEFA’s executive board earlier this year.
     
  2. K.D.D.D.D.Soc

    K.D.D.D.D.Soc Vedran Corluka

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    This would allow Woolwich in so I'd hope for a fine and transfer ban on non british players, I don't know anything to stop Woolwich.
     
  3. jts1882

    jts1882 Chris Armstrong

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    This process will never be complete before next season as City would appeal any ban. The only way it will be settled quickly if City agree to pay a fine with no ban.

    So it won't help Arsenal this time, but could help someone next year.
     
  4. jts1882

    jts1882 Chris Armstrong

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    According to The Times they face several investigations: PL, FA, UEFA and FIFA. Perhaps the quadruple is possible.

    Investigations into club

    Premier League
    Relates to the signing of academy players and third-party ownership.

    Uefa
    Accused of manipulating money earned from a sponsorship deal with Etihad airways after revelations in Der Spiegel

    FA
    Over a £200,000 payment allegedly made to Jadon Sancho’s agent when he signed from Watford in 2015, aged 14

    Fifa
    Centres around signing of eight players under the age of 18 from outside Britain and claims City have broken rules banning third-party ownership via their relationship with Danish club Nordsjaelland.
     
  5. harr1984

    harr1984 Steve Carr

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    Knowing UEFAs hatred of the English they’d probably just make sure only three of our teams were competing in it for the season - I’m sure seeing English sides dominate Europe this is a great opportunity for them to do something about it....
     
  6. greatwhitenorf

    greatwhitenorf Mido

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    [​IMG]
     
  7. glasgowspur

    glasgowspur Vedran Corluka

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    City without the distraction of CL football is frightening.
    They would walk the league and it will have no impact on what they spend, its not like they need the money.
     
  8. jts1882

    jts1882 Chris Armstrong

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    A season without CL football would screw them on future FFP commitments. I forget what they got this year but it's probably around £70m, which will be hard for them to cut (existing player contracts*) or replace. If UEFA are taking FFP seriously, they can't just pump more money in with dubious market value sponsors who just happen to be owned by the same family.

    * Unless the contracts have a clause about actually playing in the CL. The players wouldn't be happy to take a cut when they'd qualified but were then banned. The United players are unhappy about the cut due to their own failures, so the City players would have a point.
     
  9. Gazza

    Gazza Milija Aleksic

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    Singing songs on a plane
     
  10. the dza

    the dza Christian Ziege

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    Well, they won't get the quadruple, as we saw to that :cool:

    But, they have pretty much made a mockery of English football now. A team gets 97 points in a historic season for them and they still finish 2nd, behind the money-doped cheats. Domestic treble for City, how phucking hollow is it though? It's just a big farce.
     
  11. galeforce

    galeforce Tony Galvin

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    Liverpool have spent more than city over the last 12 months, they are money doped too.
     
  12. galeforce

    galeforce Tony Galvin

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    Also, it’s not just City, the fa Cup is effectively irrelevant now, the prize money is a joke and it doesn’t get you into the CL.
     
  13. Robspur12

    Robspur12 Mitchell Thomas

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    You could look at it another way of course. That Guardiola is an outstanding manager. Doubt any other manager would have completed the treble or won 198 points in two seasons even with oil money. There have been plenty of great managers who have spent a lot of money.
     
    mint me likes this.
  14. the dza

    the dza Christian Ziege

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    Liverpool raised how much from the sale of Coutinho alone, £130m? They are a proper team with loads of fans worldwide and don't have to have pretend sponsorship deals to inflate their revenues. City wouldn't be in the top 6 without oil money.
     
  15. Jordinho

    Jordinho John White Staff Member

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  16. Jordinho

    Jordinho John White Staff Member

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  17. galeforce

    galeforce Tony Galvin

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    130m for a player of that ability is equally as dodgy as city’s oil money, there was still laundering of some kind going on
     
  18. mint me

    mint me Gregorz Rasiak

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    Akin to the transfer fee received for Bale way back when.
     
  19. mint me

    mint me Gregorz Rasiak

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    Why does that criteria deem the FA cup irrelevant? It hasn't ever meant a way of getting into the CL anyway. And it's not about the prize money either, it's about the glory as you well know.
     
    K.D.D.D.D.Soc likes this.
  20. Kandi1977

    Kandi1977 Paul Walsh

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    Bale was considered one of the very best in the world, almost on par with Messi and Ronaldo at that time. Coutinho has never ever been mentioned in that category.
     
    Gazza Dazzla and glasgowspur like this.

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