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Manchester City make a mockery of UEFA and their new Financial Fair Play regulations

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Platini's rule is not as watertight as he thinks. Problems are on the horizon for UEFA
Platini's rule is not as watertight as he thinks. Problems are on the horizon for UEFA

The Financial Fair Play rule. Implemented by UEFA to curb spending in World Football, it has many supporters, as "it will stop the ridiculous spending of many clubs".

Never have I been a supporter, I am sure this rule is destined to fail. Then, like a gift from the God’s there is proof. So thanks to Manchester City, your exploits are much appreciated.

Just last week, I was listening to TalkSport, and the debate turned to the new Financial Fair Play rule. Finally they made the point I was thinking, there is no way you can expel a club like Barcelona or Manchester United from UEFA competition. It would lose UEFA money, prestige and possibly the competition itself, if the other clubs formed their own break-away competition.

Yet no-one thought of another point I had in my head, and that struck me as odd.

I was thinking that while the days of subsidising losses is over, there will always be a loophole for the rich to exploit. That is re-investing in the club in other ways. This is encouraged by UEFA, and if someone is determined enough, they could find many ways to take advantage.

For example, the owner could buy the merchandise from his own club, distorting the statistics, and enabling higher spending. For weeks this was the best I could think of. It’s highly unlikely, and well, stupid, but I was sure someone would come up with a better idea, and implement it accordingly.

As I said earlier, step forward Manchester City. Owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, they have played their part in warping the transfer market. The Sheikh has spent over £1 billion of his own money on the club, excluding his initial purchase, and as a result, has had to subsidise huge losses. As of right now, they would fail the Financial Fair Play Regulations.

Unless they could markedly improve their income.

This morning, Manchester City are likely to confirm that Etihad Airways will win the naming rights for their Eastlands stadium. By "win", I mean buy, and at a cost of £120 million.

Coincidently, the loss made by Manchester City from June 2009 to May 31 2010 was around £120 million.

Dig a little deeper, and more "coincidences" appear.

The chairman of Etihad Airways?

Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Note the family name of both the Chairman of Manchester City and the Chairman of Etihad Airways is Al Nahyan.

What a coincidence!

Still, one can look closer, and the ties become more apparent.

Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the Managing Director of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. By sheer coincidence, Manchester City were bought by the Abu Dhabi United Group, a group rumoured to be tied to the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. A glance at the current board of directors at the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority unsurprisingly shows the current owner of Manchester City, and the aforementioned Chairman of Etihad Airways.

One could assume that the agreement is not a coincidence, or an opportune investment by Etihad Airways, but something deeper altogether.So then UEFA, what do you think of your rule now?


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