Manchester City defended by Pep Guardiola amid Football Leaks accusations

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak and owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak and owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Fresh documents published by German magazine Der Spiegel claim the club set up "Project Longbow" to bypass UEFA regulations and sold players' image rights to an external company overseen by a London multi-millionaire, thereby writing off a huge cost from their accounts.

Javier Tebas, chief executive of Spanish football's top division, has expressed doubts over whether City or PSG will face sanctions because of a tangled web of financial relationships between the clubs and Uefa. This was followed up by further claims on Monday and Tuesday, including suggestions sponsorship deals with Abu Dhabi-based companies were topped up by discrete payments from City's owner Sheikh Mansour.

Der Spiegel claims it has seen internal documents which show that City officials discussed how to wipe out a £9.9 million shortfall in 2013 and that owner Sheikh Mansour provided monetary supplements to existing deals with sponsors in Abu Dhabi to invest more into the club.

"Should Uefa fail to act, we will do what we have said before: launch a complaint with European Union competition authorities".

This rise coincided with UEFA creating rules - in consultation with the European Club Association - to limit spending within a club's ability to generate revenue.

UEFA said it "cannot comment on specific cases due to confidentiality obligations". The statement said the club would not comment on "the attempt to damage the club's reputation", but Guardiola fielded questions about the allegations at a news conference ahead of their Champions League game against Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday.

"The club has made a statement on Friday about what happened, stolen emails". I would say of course, like many, many clubs around the world, there is a lot of money.

"We certainly hope Uefa will take the right decisions and enforce Financial Fair Play rules, but we don't have full confidence that they will".

"I am a manager".

"About the business and how we handle this situation, I'm completely out of that". And we want to do what we have to do in terms of the rules.

When asked about the accusations, the manager Pep Guardiola insisted that City had always tried to do things the right way.

"If people say it's just about that we have accept it, but my point of view is completely wrong. In the end we have to focus on what we have to do on the pitch". This a company of which Der Spiegel claims the ownership is "well hidden", explaining, 'The path first leads to a British straw-man company, then to the British Virgin Islands and finally to the Rowland family trust'.

"We work every day but the reality is that we don't start matches well, but if we don't start well and we end well, that's fine".

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