Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini insists he is not worried by the possibility of the club being sanctioned by UEFA for breaching financial fair play (FFP) rules.
City are among a number of clubs, including Paris St Germain, that are having their cases considered this week by UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body’s (CFCB) which will decide if they have committed breaches of the break-even rules.
The possible sanctions will be announced in early May and range from a warning to a fine, up to a salary cap for a club’s European squad or even being barred from next season’s Champions League. UEFA has confirmed that it cannot impose transfer embargoes.
Asked if he was worried about the possibility of sanctions, Pellegrini told a news conference: “No. First of all it is important to know what UEFA will have to say and then we can have an opinion.
“It is important for the club but I am not the person in charge of those kinds of things.”
City have had no indication from UEFA about any possible action and senior sources at the club insist they are comfortable with their position.
The CFCB’s investigatory chamber, headed by former Belgium prime minister Jean-Luc Dehaene, will conclude its meeting on Wednesday and those clubs judged to have committed serious breaches of FFP rules will be referred to the CFCB’s adjudicatory panel for a final verdict, with UEFA to announce details of all sanctions around May 5.
City, who have lost £149m in the past two seasons, and PSG are among the 76 clubs under investigation.
The CFCB panel will have four options open to them: to dismiss the case; to agree a settlement with the club effectively putting them on probation; to issue a reprimand and fine of up to €100,000; or in serious cases to refer the club to the adjudicatory chamber.
Clubs can appeal against any decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
PSG’s position looks to be the most perilous – the Qatari-owned club wiped out their losses via a back-dated sponsorship deal with the Qatar Tourism Authority. As it is a deal with a party related to the owners however, the French club have to convince UEFA the deal is of fair market value.
French newspaper L’Equipe reported last month that UEFA officials found the Paris club’s officials “a bit haughty” in the discussions over FFP but that Manchester City had been more convincing.
Clubs are permitted to lose up to €45m over the last two years under UEFA’s rules.
City made losses of £97.9m in 2012 and £51.6m last year but can write off sums spent on facilities, youth development and a number of other items.
Other top English clubs have little to fear, with the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United being in the black in both years. Chelsea made a £49.4m loss last year but made a £1.4m profit in 2012 so will comply.
Liverpool, who have lost £90m over the last two years, and other clubs such as Monaco who are not playing in Europe this season will not have to pass the FFP rules until next autumn with any sanctions applicable in 2015.