Manchester City remain the subject of a serious investigation into their prior illicit dealings, with indirect payments from Sheikh Mansour one of the points of concern.
The Cityzens reportedly overtook city rivals Manchester United in the revenue charts, raking in £569.8m for the 2020/21 financial year – a whopping £75.8m more than the Red Devils posted (£494m), as reported by the Manchester Evening News.
“According to information obtained by DER SPIEGEL, that investigation is focusing on three primary allegations,” Rafael Buschmann, Nicola Naber und Christoph Winterbach wrote in a joint piece for Spiegel International.
“1. Underage players were allegedly pressured to sign contracts with Manchester City through monetary payments, in violation of the rules.
“2. Club sponsors in Abu Dhabi are suspected of having provided only a portion of their payments to the club themselves, with the majority apparently coming from Sheikh Mansour himself.
“3. Roberto Mancini, who is currently the trainer for the Italian national team but who spent the years from 2009 to 2013 as the trainer for ManCity, is thought to have received a significant portion of his compensation secretly by way of a fictitious consultancy contract.”
There have been some serious concerns over the specific sources of such revenue for some time now, however, with many commentators suspicious as to how the Manchester-based outfit have managed to overtake other commercial giants so quickly.
On the pitch, Pep Guardiola’s outfit have been more than formidable and should be considered serious contenders for major silverware this term.
Regardless of their heavy recent successes, however, it’s difficult to fathom how exactly the club has managed to accrue enough in the way of commercial agreements to leapfrog top outfits in the UK.
That’s not to suggest that the entirety of the City’s dealings should be the subject of scrutiny, though there are clearly some developments that should warrant concern in an era where sportswashing is an increasing reality in football.