City aren’t the real villains, stop with the ‘breathtaking hypocrisy’

Date published: Monday 13th July 2020 2:36


Get your mails on Man City and anything else in to…


It’s pretty simple really…
Dear F365.

I know plenty are aghast at how corrupt man City managed to get away with things, but really the ruling is pretty simple.

They were primarily charged with hiding or altering revenue. That was their crime and the punishment of being banned was the result. That they didn’t assist UEFA was a secondary issue.

CAS (which is independent) ruled that they were not guilty of hiding or altering their revenue and so the punishment was now not applicable. However they did agree that as they were un-cooperative then they should receive a punishment for that.

I’m reading from mailers that despite them not being guilty that they should still receive the full punishment as anything else is just wrong. Club bias aside, that’s a nuts way to think isn’t it?


Just been reading the mailbox reaction to city’s ban being overturned and I think people seem to be forgetting that CAS said city HAVE NOT CHEATED FFP,  Now I know that’s disappointing for some people as it doesn’t suit your own personal or club agenda but there it is.

So the next criticism is the owners blah blah……gets a bit boring really. Now do I think Manchester City and there owners are squeaky clean no, no I don’t. Do I think they’re the only ones no no I don’t either so please do not be so naive as to think your owners are saints and have made all there money in a morally and ethical way. Really!! Like every penny that’s been pumped in is clean!

Football is a dirty business I’m afraid and atop of all that grubby little business sits UEFA arguable the dirtiest most corrupt bunch of little f*****s in the game, but we will forget that as well because again it suits that they tried to ban city.

Personally I hope city absolutely sue the arse of UEFA following today’s verdict that would be nice.

Anyway enjoy the rest of your day peeps
Paul, Manchester


Dear editor

While I find mailbox ramblings usually quite well informed regarding strictly footballing matters (with the odd click bait mail occasionally thrown in for fun), this morning’s mailbox highlights what is an ongoing problem when it comes to the average fan talking about anything related to FFP. That is, that most of them don’t have an actual clue.

I don’t actually blame the likes of Sid, Chris and Edwin, et al. They have been let down by woefully inadequate journalism on this subject, and on City’s overturned 2 year suspension in particular. This is what happens when media outlets let football journos and ex-footballers — who are trained to discuss the game of football itself — talk about football finance and law, topics they clearly have very limited expertise and experience in. The one obvious mainstream exception would be David Conn. But while his journalism is usually vital, on this subject he has been inexplicably vague, offering a defence of UEFA’s ban that amounted to something like ‘City shouldn’t appeal the ban because of Brexit’.

Football is very tribal. And football journalism, as much as it would like to claim impartiality, feeds off that triabalism. So editors have been happy to let stories regarding Manchester City’s supposed breaking of FFP regulations slide, knowing full well that Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal fans would lap them up. Anyone with even a modicum of understanding regarding the ‘evidence’ UEFA had knew that an independent body like CAS would see it for what it was — UEFA trying to do something to appease the whinings of the G-14 clubs cartel. That media outlets like Sky and the BBC and mainstream newspapers have been asking the likes of Jamie Carragher and Alan Shearer (no offence to either of them) for their opinions on this subject, rather than, y’know, football finance lawyers, is dismal, but not surprising.

The fine levied at City is not because they have been found guilty of breaking FFP regulations in terms of club finances, but because City refused to cooperate with what they asserted was a prejudiced investigation. Given the number of leaks that were coming out of UEFA during that investigation, and the tissue-thin evidence they used to try and ban City from their competitions, I think the club had very good reason to doubt the motives of the investigation.

The tribal nature of football, and therefore, City’s inability to get a fair hearing in the court of public opinion can be summed up in Javier Tebas’ reaction to the ban being overturned. He said:

“We have to reassess whether the Cas is the appropriate body to which to appeal institutional decisions in football. Switzerland is a country with a great history of arbitration, the Cas is not up to standard.”

This would be laughable if he wasn’t a man of such influence in European football. His use of the term ‘we’ is instructive and tells you all you need to know about his impartiality. When the first truly independent body got involved, City were exonerated. And Tebas’ response: we’ll find a body who will be ‘independent’ in the way ‘we’ deem appropriate.

Football is broken. And perhaps City are part of that problem. But when fans rely on headlines and tweets to understand some of the complex issues that football faces, perhaps we have the game we deserve.
gomez, MCFC


Everyone seems shocked by the result of the City ban, but this is just fairly standard practice by a governing body against an organisation. This happens countless times with business accross the world and the result should be of no surprise to anyone.

In the UK, our organisation is called the Serious Fraud Office, who hold business accountable in a legal sense. Now the SFO isn’t stupid, they know that all the businesses pay for much better lawyers so they don’t really want to go to court. They find potential misdemeanors and accuse companies of being naughty in the hope they will raise their hands and say “you got me, can I pay a fine instead?”. Easy way to make a couple of mil.

Occasionally however, the company calls their bluff and they have to hope they have enough evidence to not look too stupid in court.

This is essentially what happened with City but EUFA has an ace up their sleeve, they can fine you and ban you from competitions. Very scary but City called their bluff as they can’t afford to not give the best players in the world champions league football. EUFA overplayed their hand and innocent or guilty, there wasn’t any evidence and its been thrown out with a slap on the wrist.

I expect this to happen a few more times to other clubs but maybe theyll reduce the penalty to 1 year, see if they can get some more money for the FIFA Christmas Yacht party.
Rob A (Papa Wenger might have something to say about this though…) AFC


Guilty until proven innocent and then still found guilty in today’s mailbox.  To those writing in, I say, which eye do you wear your patch on.

City have vehemently denied any wrong doing throughout the process, yet journalists (you know who you are) and opposing fans (save for West Ham and a couple of others) strung us up a long time ago, willing/wanting to believe emails proven to be hacked by a now convicted party and then published without context.  They should all be embarrassed, particularly the journalists who should professionally know better.  It really does discredit them.

Transfer market evidence in the last few years only serves to demonstrate that City are financially acting sustainably.  They refused to bid more for many of their major targets, not least Jorginho, Van Dyke and Maguire and have acted prudently in the market in recent years.  They have just lost Sane because Bayern offered double their salary offer to him.  They have also invested heavily in youth training and the local community.  Instead of being hauled up and put in the stocks, they should be seen as an example of how clubs should properly conduct themselves.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the club sue UEFA (and others) for damages and defamation of character.

Superbia in Proelio
Rosie Poppins



We’re all in the wrong
As I have written in the mailbox before, City fans should have welcomed the Champions League ban as the first step to reclaiming our club from the human rights abusers who have bought it to use as a plaything and to burnish their reputations.

There is nothing to celebrate in today’s judgement. While CAS may have found there wasn’t conclusive evidence of City breaching FFP rules, the fact that we are in breach of the spirit of the rules is blindingly obvious.

But for the crowing fans of other clubs, you are deluding yourselves if you think you’re morally superior because a greater share of your club’s income is funded from ‘revenue’. I laughed out loud when Sid, LFC described Liverpool as a “not so rich” club in the same bracket as Ajax and Everton.

All Premier League clubs earn their revenue from having set up a cartel in order to keep TV money without sharing it fairly with the rest of the game. You’ll never walk alone? Tell that to the 72 league clubs who you’ve been cheating out of income for 28 years.

And in the case of most of the big PL clubs like Liverpool, Man Utd, Arsenal, much of your commercial income comes from selling merchandise in overseas markets, crowding out smaller local clubs who need that revenue to survive. Not to mention your outrageous ticket prices that are stopping younger and poorer people from accessing the game.

I oppose Mansour’s ownership of City unequivocally, because of who he is and what he’s done. But the ownership model of having a wealthy owner subsidising a football club (the same model used by almost all English clubs since the professional game was established) is no worse than having a wealthy owner using every shameless corporate practice they can to generate a profit.
Richard MCFC


UEFA – not fit for purpose – G14 issues
I am a City fan so obviously biased but UEFA don’t come out of this well at all.

Not only do they not know their own rules about deadlines and evidence but they chose to pursue a case they weren’t going to win if it was challenged in an impartial setting

The fine is for MCFC not co-operating with UEFA’s investigation body. This investigation was started on ‘evidence’ obtained by a hacker and released by a german newspaper. MCFC responded to this ‘evidence’ and over the next few months there were 5 leaks to the press with supposedly confidential information. At this point MCFC stopped cooperation with the inquiry as they didn’t want any more sensitive information to leak out – this was listed in the previous decision by CAS who described the leaks as worrisome.- see the PDF on the CAS site

as for the Liverpool fans mumbling about cheats, when you have been caught illegally accessing the systems of one of your rivals I wouldn’t should too loudly about how honorable you are

one of the biggest issues within UEFA is the power of the old guard, the G14 clubs. This group exists to protect the income and status of former greats that have failed to adapt to the new football environment, they want to retain the status quo and keep their positions at the money trough.

When you have the Juventus chairman trying to introduce historical data to try and protect Roma at the expense of Atlanta due to their historical contribution rather than accepting the fact that Atlanta did better than Roma and fully deserve their time in the champs league you have a major issue. Roma’s historical contribution is 1 semi-final and a couple of quarter finals BTW

The G14 clubs option has always been we will form a super league. Given the current situation that will be harder than ever. I’m not sure about other football fans but I don’t have much interest in watching the Milan teams trying to return to past glories, or the other german teams trying to take on the Bayern juggernaut

It was quite obvious that Ceferin was distancing himself from the City case, he has made noises about trying to reform UEFA, he will have his work cut out taking on the likes of Gill and Tebas who are quite happy to keep the new clubs out.


The hypocrisy…
What breath-taking hypocrisy from some in reaction to City getting the ban lifted.

Sid LFC, where to start? Your “organically grown” club (ahem) has relied heavily on investment since the 60s. First from David Moores (you know the guy, the bloke who owned the lucrative Pools companies back in the 70s and 80s) and now the Fenway Sports Group (founded by the billionaire John Henry). Liverpool’s dominance back then and the latest dominance could not have been possible without these rich benefactors.

And please, did a United fan really accuse City of entitlement and arrogance? Hmmm pot kettle black.

The reality is that successful football teams have ALWAYS relied on rich people to give them an edge. Growing football clubs organically is just some romantic deluded bollocks. So f**k off with this holier than thou bullshit.

As for UEFA. They are the real villains of this sorry episode. FFP was so obviously a ploy to keep the new money out (PSG, City, Chelsea 15 years ago) so that the established elite (Madrid, Barca, yes you Liverpool, yes you United) can carve up the UEFA sponsorship riches to themselves. And yet they can’t devise a set of rules that could not be overturned by a court of law. Hopeless bunch of greedy bastards.

We need proper leadership in Football but don’t rely on UEFA giving it.


The importance of reading the details.
This morning kicked off with me desperately still trying to shake off Saturdays hangover, while finding out City had managed to get rid of their own with their win at the CAS.

On the face of it’s another clear win for the rich, sportswashing clubs who can apparently do what they like with scant regard for FFP, apparently backed up by CAS. The immediate twitter trend was a RIP FFP hashtag.

The reality isn’t that simple, the reason for the 2-year ban was disguising cash injections as sponsorship, which in it’s finding the report stated: that most of the alleged breaches reported by the adjudicatory chamber of the CFCB were either not established or time-barred. You can read into this that the skullduggery took place, however, UEFA did not investigate and take action quickly enough for these charges to hold. UEFA were then undone by their own statute of limitations. Of course, this was not helped by City’s confirmed refusal to cooperate, which they are still guilty of but if anyone expected them to gladly throw open their books to scrutiny as soon as they were asked, I encourage you to go and google sportswashing, and think if you’d expect that kind of behaviour….

The upshot is, if this case had been brought more quickly and investigated more directly & assertively by UEFA there is every reason to believe that City would be spending Wednesday evenings sitting on the naughty step for a few years. The moral of the story isn’t that the FFP regulations won’t work, but that they need proper investigation and enforcement or they’ll fall over.
RM, Gooner in Brixton

P.S. My sympathies to the family of Serge Aurier. Regardless of on-pitch rivalry, we should all be behind him off it. 


Justification for what?
Hi levenshulme blue

Justification for what exactly?

For fiddling accounts?
For being a club who cheat?

Not sure what Liverpool had to do with it?

You won’t win the champions league this season. But boo the anthem anyways.  You haven’t won the league.

That’s the real “ hahahahaha”

Can take abuse from united- history and a much bigger club than city

Can take abuse from Arsenal- history and a much bigger club than city

But mockery from a city fan? Do me a favour go back to 1999 when you were a game from being in the bottom division. Small club city, always have been, always will be.
Ade ( we finally did it ) Guildford



Levenshulme Blue you must be so proud of your moment but let’s remind ourselves about some of the (time-barred, apparently) evidence from the Der Spiegel emails before any apologies are forthcoming:

In 2012, City’s CFO asked Director Simon Pearce if it was ok to change the date of payments from sponsors on its books, Pearce replied “Of course, we can do what we want.”

According to an email written by City’s lawyer, “Khaldoon said he would rather spend 30 million on the 50 best lawyers in the world to sue them [UEFA] for the next 10 years” and raised the spectre of “the destruction of their rules and organization.”

Simon Pearce when discussing Matchday Sponsorship: “As we discussed the annual direct obligation for Aabar is GBP 3Million.  The remaining 12Million annual requirement will come from alternative sources provided by His Highness”

In answering a question “ I need to understand the mechanism by which additional sponsorship flows through ADUG” Pearce responds:

“Jorge, we have to show that the money is required for the ADUG* P&L but we can’t show the payment routes.  So it’s funding income that we should call partner funding and we should show the total and timing requirements for receipt, but we should not include any more detail than that.”

On structuring payments from Etihad in the 13/14 season:

“ADUG contribution for a total of £88.5m

Etihad direct contribution for £8m”

Receipt of Invoice for the attention of Simon Pearce:

“Sponsorship fees 15/16, £67,500,000. Please note that out of those £67.5m, £8m should be funded directly by Etihad and £59.5 by ADUG”

I could go on…..

Regardless of your feelings towards FFP, the rules exist and your club’s flagrant disregard of them shows utter contempt to all of the other participants who abide by them.  Not really something to be proud of I’d have thought, regardless of getting off on technicalities.

* The Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment (ADUG), is a United Arab Emirates (UAE) based private equity company owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, member of the Abu Dhabi Royal Family and Minister of Presidential Affairs for the UAE.
James Outram, Wirral


Some thoughts on the ruling this morning
First one is the appeal to CAS, it strikes me as odd that in football, unlike say a normal legal matter, there appears to be no structure around the process, why was the appeal not handled by UEFA, or some other branch of the footballing bodies that control the game first? Why do CAS, in effect the supreme court, get to stick their oar in immediately, can UEFA not appeal that ruling? While I understand that there is a need for independent bodies in clear cases of errors, the £10 million that City now have to take out of “petty cash” shows that there is evidence of wrongdoing. If city want to fight their corner, that’s absolutely their right,  but UEFA don’t seem to have any right to respond here, CAS come in, agree (to at least a point) with City and that’s it, done and dusted. The whole thing is very odd and there should be levels to these things.

On to the implications of the ruling. Pretty much a disaster for FFP and football in general, basically at this stage the CAS has made a rod for UEFA’s back, City were quite blatant in some of their actions particularly in the early years of their ownership and with all due respect to them, their turnover and profitability as a business is not on par with their expenditure, even so they can now act with impunity it seems, with this in mind UEFA are now in a position where any case they bring may fall on this sword and make FFP a completely pointless and blunt.

To any city fan who thinks its all rosy in the garden now, one question for you, have you given any thought to what might happen to your club should the current owners decide to walk away? Your club is not self-sufficient, it does not have liquidity without its owners if they walk, you could see a Leeds like fall from financial grace or worse, this is not a day for celebration for you, you should be giving serious though as to why your club is in court in the first place, it does not bode well for the health of your club in the future if there are financial irregularities in your books, this is a warning sign that things are being hidden rather than disproved and that should be your focus as fans, they gravy train will end and when it does it could be a very sudden stop.
Vernon. Dublin, Ireland


As I expected, people who REALLY WANTED City to be banned are coming out with all sorts of justification for their bile.

Lets’ have a look, shall we?

Sid, LFC; Not so rich clubs? Liverpool owned by a multi billionaire bunch of American Hedge Fund capitalists. Everton, owned by a billionaire. Lie nailed. In addition, since when are clubs allowed to ‘grow organically’? They just get their best players picked off, time and time again and FFP ACTIVELY PREVENTS clubs from spending enough to join the elite.

Chris, Barnet; FFP is the mockery, you’re aiming in the wrong direction

Leon; We were fined because we didn’t co-operate with UEFA, and why didn’t we co-operate? Because we didn’t trust them and rightly so. Nobody is pumping money into the club, this ruling proves it. This, you need to understand.

Paul Murphy, Manchester; That’s bloody rich coming from your bile filled brain and underhand club.

P (Champions) J; No, not really.

Joe Donohoe; Only disappointing if the truth irritates you

Mark, LFC; But, we didn’t cheat, todays’ ruling proves it.

Rob, LFC; See Leon, above.

I know it’s disappointing for you but we always said the truth will out…and it has. UEFA and the shady cabal of clubs behind them are the villains, not Manchester City.

As ever, only trying to help.
Levenshulme Blue, Manchester 19


Praising Mourinho?!
I’ll keep it short as the mailbox will be over-run with Man City hate and over-reactions from whatever happens with Utds game tonight.

Some Spurs fan in the mailbox praised Jose. Are you nuts? (yes). As a Utd fan, he also got us the odd win against the top sides and while I was always happy with the 3 points I was also quite ashamed of playing against Liverpool or City with 30% possession, surviving their attacking onslaughts and then stealing the game by converting one of 2 or 3 chances. Relegation threatened sides would rightly be happy with that but any side with ambition should be ashamed. (And yes, I know Ole has also been guilty of stealing points on the break from top sides, hopefully we’ll be able to go toe-to-toe in the near future).

City ban overturned, we all knew it would happen, can we move on? Maybe another utd controversial penalty tonight can shift the focus. I detest City but I still want to see them go up against the giants of Europe (I just want them to lose). We may hate the fact that they have more money than anyone else and talk crap about how they got it but face facts, if your club had squillions to spend you wouldn’t care where it came from – just admit it.

And some Liverpool fan made some mention of Utd fans possibly starting to say next year will be our year. We don’t say that, that’s your thing. We know next year is still much more likely to be yours or Citys than ours. We still remember that “our year” also took quite a long time before it actually returned at the start of the premier league era. We’re not going anywhere though…
Jon, Cape Town


You can count on the Gunners…
To use their cannon on themselves every time.

We should have absolutely won this game. The fact that Mourinho was allowed to Mourinho Arsenal once More was very disappointing as a neutral observer. I hope Arteta can Ironthis out of the team when it comes to Mourinho I don’t mind if they lose against the rest of the big six
Ryan B


Best of a nation
Since the Mailbox will likely be full of Manchester City related mails, I thought I would look at the “Best of a Nation” topic but do the “Best of a Continent” instead, it will be shorter and probably more lively debate will follow due to my selections being completely wrong,  I shall naturally self impose some unnecessary rules, those being I cannot select more than 1 player from the same nation, to eliminate any potential regency bias I will try to select 1 player from a given decade, I am sure I will bend that rule often though, if they were at their peak in 2 decades then, well, that will just be selected to accommodate the list I suppose, so on to the list.

Johan Cruyff (Netherlands, 1960s)
Frenec Puskas (Hungary, 1940s)
Matthias Sindelar (Austria, 1920s)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, 2010s)
Franz Beckenbauer (Germany, 1970s)

South America;
Lionel Messi (Argentina, 2010s)
Pele (Brazil, 1960s)
Carlos Valderrama (Columbia, 1980s)
Marcelo Salas (Chile, 1990s)
Teofilo Cubillas (Peru, 1970s)

George Weah (Liberia, 1990s)
Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast, 2000s)
Samuel Etoo (Cameroon, 2010s)
Essam El-Hadary (Egypt, 2000s)
Jay-Jay Okocha (Nigeria, 1990s)

Cha Bum-Kun (South Korea, 1980s)
Paulino Alcántara (Philippines, 1920s)
Tim Cahill (Australia, 2000s)
Hidetoshi Nakata (Japan, 1990s)
Majed Abdullah (Saudi Arabia, 1980s)

North America;
Landon Donovan (USA, 2000s)
Hugo Sanchez (Mexico, 1980s)
Dwight Yorke (Trinidad & Tobago, 1990s)
Keylor Navas (Costa Rica, 2010s)
Julio Dely Valdés (Panama, 1990s)

Nigel Winterburn
Evander Sno
Mikey, CFC (Well I had to get some name puns into a list didnt I?) 


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