Mystery man from UAE paid Manchester City £30 million to cover up sponsorship payment - Reports
According to The Times, a mystery man paid Manchester City £30 million to cover up sponsorship payment. This is obtained from a 2020 UEFA report that was never published.
The alleged incidents took place in 2012 and 2013. City were set to receive a payment from one of their main sponsors, UAE telecom service Etisalat. However, they received payments of £15 million on two different occasions from an unknown source.
The report further claimed that the funding came from the Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG). They are Manchester City's owners and the organization is headed by Abu Dhabi's vice-president Sheikh Mansour Zayed Al Nahyan.
The Premier League club's lawyer allegedly claimed during the investigation that the payments were made by a person named Jaber Mohammed. The lawyer further said (via The Times):
“[Jaber] a person in the business of providing financial and brokering services to commercial entities in the UAE.”
However, the report said that counterpoints rose about why ADUG or Etisalat needed the assistance of a broker to pay off their sponsorship sums.
While City cited that Etisalat paid back the money in 2015, the justification was reportedly not accepted by UEFA. The Premier League side were handed a two-year suspension from European competitions as a result of the £30 million payment. However, the decision was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) as they reasoned that the payment was time-barred.
Manchester City had a record-breaking season in 2022-23
Since the turn of the 2010 decade, Manchester City have established themselves as one of the top clubs in world football. Their initial growth came under the tutelage of Manuel Pellegrini and Roberto Mancini.
However, the club became almost invincible in English football once Pep Guardiola took over. That said, City's struggle in Europe continued, until the 2022-23 season. Guardiola's team defeated Inter Milan by 1-0 in the final of the UEFA Champions League to win their first UCL in history.
They also won the Premier League and the FA Cup this past season. Overall, it was a fantastic season for Manchester City, certainly the best one in the club's history. With Guardiola set to stay at the helm, more records could be en route.