Manchester City CEO Ferran Soriano on Wednesday said that the allegations against Manchester City are false, amid the massive punishment that has been imposed on the club by UEFA. Soriano stated that it was important to release a response since the club wanted to send a message to the stakeholders, the fans and the Manchester City 'family' around the world.
The club has thus been barred from UEFA club competitions in the next two seasons (ie. the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons) and ordered pay a fine of € 30 million for breaching financial fair play rules.
Soriano was interviewed by the club and was asked if there is any truth in the charges. Soriano claimed that the 'allegations' are false even though the UEFA has already proved the charges and held the club for breaching financial fair play regulations.
Soriano also stated that the club had cooperated with the process and that presented the authorities with all the documents. "We did co-operate with this process. We delivered a long list of documents and support that we believe is irrefutable evidence that the claims are not true. It was hard because we did this in the context of information being leaked to the media, and feeling that every step and engagement of the way, that we were considered guilty before anything was even discussed. But in the end, this is an internal process that has been initiated and then prosecuted and then judged by this FFP chamber at UEFA."
Soriano also denied that the owners of the club put any of their own money into the club via sponsorships, etc. He added that the club has been audited multiple times and that all transactions are legal.
The 52-year-old also added that the club has been concerned over the "constant leak of information."
Earlier this week, FIFA's Head of Global Football Development Arsene Wenger said that rules must be respected. He was quoted by Goal.com as saying that he has always encouraged clubs to work with the natural money that they earn. "People who don't respect them and are caught trying to get around the rules are more or less legal ways have to be punished. If it's proven that this has been done on purpose then this cannot go unpunished."
On February 14, the UEFA released the findings of its report of its investigations on Manchester City's financial irregularities. The statement read that UEFA found that the club "committed serious breaches of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations by overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016."