Man City accused of accepting £30million payment from ‘mystery’ UAE figure in leaked UEFA report

A leaked UEFA report has accused Manchester City of accepting a £30million payment from a ‘mystery figure’ in the United Arab Emirates.

City are currently facing 115 charges for alleged breaches of the Premier League’s financial rules and it’s been suggested this latest accusation is part of the alleged breaches.


City have been accused of over 100 alleged breaches of the Premier League’s financial rulesCredit: Getty

The Times reports the UEFA report was produced in 2020 but never published and concludes that the two £15 million payments from 2012 and 2013 were made to cover sums that were supposed to have come from one of their main sponsors.

Premier League and UEFA financial rules state that club owners are limited as to the amount of equity funding they can put into a club, however, the amount of sponsorship funding is unlimited. The Premier League’s charges over financial reporting relate to nine seasons from 2009/10 to 2017/18.

The report adds the adjudicatory committee of UEFA’s Club Financial Control Board’s (CFCB) report concludes that the payments were supposed to come from the UAE’s majority state-owned telecommunications company Etisalat, however, they’re said to be ‘disguised equity funding’. It alleges that funding came from City’s owners, the Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG), the investment group headed by Abu Dhabi’s vice-president, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

It says that during a UEFA disciplinary hearing the club’s lawyer named the person who paid the money as ‘Jaber Mohamed’, described as “a person in the business of providing financial and brokering services to commercial entities in the UAE”.

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It adds that “…the obvious question, not answered at any point in the club’s submission and evidence, [is] why either Etisalat or ADUG should have needed any financial assistance from a broker in paying the Etisalat sponsorship liabilities.”

City have also been charged with failing to cooperate with an investigation and handing over documents as required over five seasons from 2018/19 to 2022/23.

The Times says the adjudicatory committee’s report was obtained by a makers of a film covering City’s financial charges, ‘Britain’s Biggest Football Scandal?’, which has been released on YouTube by Sunrise Media.

The makers of the film insist they’re not funded by any Middle East state or any other agency amid suggestions there are geopolitical motives behind the production.

City won the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League treble last season


City won the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League treble last seasonCredit: AFP

No credits have been placed on the film other than Sunrise which was registered in the British Virgin Islands on June 9. A law firm in London has been used to seek comment from Man City, the Court of Arbitration for Sport and UEFA.

The Times also says a copy of the UEFA report has been independently verified for its authenticity.

The report states: “At the hearing, leading counsel for the club, responding to questions from the adjudicatory committee, stated that the payer was Jaber Mohamed.”

However, the Times says the identity of Mohamed is yet to be verified by investigators, who were unsuccessful in their attempts to provide him as a witness at their CAS hearing which overturned their two-year ban from the Champions League in 2020.

City were initially banned from the Champions League following a UEFA investigation after a report by German publication Der Spiegel alleging that tens of millions of pounds of sponsorship money from City’s Abu Dhabi sponsors was paid directly to the club by ADUG.

The adjudicatory committee’s report concludes: “Arrangements were made under which payments were made or caused to be made by ADUG but attributed to the sponsorship obligations of Etisalat so as to disguise the true purpose of equity funding, and those arrangements were carried into effect by the payments made by Jaber Mohamed totalling £30 million.

“The management of the club was well aware that the payments totalling £30 million made by Jaber Mohamed were made as equity funding, not as payments for the sponsor on account of genuine sponsorship liabilities.

“On that basis the management could not properly have caused the club to account for the liabilities purportedly due under Etisalat 1A and Etisalat 2 as sponsorship revenue due from Etisalat for services rendered by the club.”

City manager Pep Guardiola has previously said he would leave the club if the top brass had not been truthful to him about the accusations they're facing


City manager Pep Guardiola has previously said he would leave the club if the top brass had not been truthful to him about the accusations they’re facingCredit: Getty

The report also states that the audited annual financial statements submitted to the Football Association by City ‘overstated the club’s true sponsorship revenue’ by including the full amount that Etisalat was due to pay for the years ending May 31, 2012 and 2013.

The latest revelations will throw up questions about what sanctions City will receive if found guilty, however, ex-Arsenal co-owner David Dein doesn’t believe they will stretch to on-pitch punishments.

Dein told Piers Morgan: Uncensored: “I’m not sure how much of a smoking gun this really is in the scheme of things and whatever you say about Manchester City, and I’m not here to defend them, they’ve done a sensational job not just for themselves but for the Premier League.”

When Morgan put the fact that City are facing 115 Premier League charges to Dein, the latter responded: “I understand that and they’ve still got to be proven. Don’t forget.

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“As we all know they’re innocent until proven guilty. There’s a long way to go, it’ll probably trundle along for the next couple of years in any case.

“I cannot see them having any titles taken away from them, I think that would be wrong in the scheme of things. But let’s see what the argument is.”

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