Published: Wed, May 15, 2019
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Manchester City deny players mocked Hillsborough tragedy in flight song

Manchester City deny players mocked Hillsborough tragedy in flight song

Amid the euphoria of retaining their Premier League title, Manchester City have been brought crashing down to earth with reports that they could be banned from the Champions league - the trophy they crave more than any.

City's win over Brighton ensured they retained the title by a point from second-placed Liverpool.

Sponsorships from companies linked to club ownership is allowed, so long as the sum in question reflects the market value.

The club addressed an allegation published by The New York Times this week that Uefa financial investigators meeting in Nyon, Switzerland, two weeks ago had agreed to recommend a one-year ban for City when the case is passed to the Uefa body responsible for regulations.

If he does sanction a year-long Champions League ban, given that Man City would nearly certainly appeal, it is unclear it would be able to be enforced in time for next season's competition.

In its statement, City said "the accusation of financial irregularities (is) entirely false, and comprehensive proof of this fact has been provided".

Key to the investigation is whether City deceived UEFA for several years, including by disguising the source of revenue from sponsorship deals tied to the club's owners in Abu Dhabi.

Since Sheik Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan became the controlling owner of the club, Manchester City has been viewed as one of the world's richest clubs and has won four of the last eight Premier League titles.

Financial Fair Play was instituted to impose rules in the game to prevent clubs from spending outside of their means, and to also provide a degree of parity between some of the less financially secure clubs and the expanding list of "super clubs" which exist in Europe, often bankrolled by exceedingly wealthy backers.

According to Der Spiegel in November, City had breached FFP rules by €188million in that year. It is still striving for European success, though, and narrowly fell to Tottenham in the Champions League quarterfinals this season.

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