Hey big spenders, watch out! UEFA warn Manchester City over splashing cash earned from Etihad sponsors

By Paddy von Behr

Premier League rich kids Manchester City must take Financial Fair Play seriously or the whole of Europe will feel the effects, warned UEFA today.

City and French giants Paris Saint Germain were singled out by European football’s governing body as potential problem children for the new system.

The club were advised that failure to comply with the strict financial constraints will result in disastrous consequences across the continent.

“It is a hell of a lot of money and a very worrying situation that the clubs have the responsibility to take very seriously,” said Gianni Infantino, UEFA’s general secretary.

“It is not about just one club that might go bankrupt.

“The whole of football cares, because the consequences of a club going bankrupt are felt across the game.”

Since plans for FFP were agreed in September 2009, certain clubs have worried UEFA with their increased spending year-on-year.

Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea were originally a concern, but City and PSG now appear to be causing UEFA more worry than the champions of Europe.

And Mr Infantino stressed the importance of everyone complying with the regulations, rather than drawing undue attention from UEFA.

He said: “When we first discussed FFP it was Chelsea, then you have Manchester City, then it was PSG.

“Our responsibility is to have a system that works for more than 630 clubs and not look at one club and neglect the rest.”

New figures have showed that, if the system had been in place this year, City would have fallen foul of the rules – the club lost £97.9 million.

However, like many other clubs, sponsorship deals will boost the Citizens’ financial portfolio – most notably its contract with Etihad.

This deal is expected to deliver more than £400 million over four years, but UEFA have vowed to scrutinise the agreement thoroughly to ensure its fairness.

And they insist the rules are being introduced the assist Europe’s football clubs, rather than provide an unnecessarily restrictive framework.

“The FFP rules are there to help the clubs,” Mr Infantino added.

“UEFA doesn’t want to sanction the clubs, we want to help them. But sometimes we have to sanction someone to help the clubs.”

Picture courtesy of Any Branna, with thanks.

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