Manchester City could be banned from participating in the Champions League next season, if UEFA decides to take action over new leaked emails which appear to demonstrate the club flouting the governing body's Financial Fair Play rules.
The club is already under investigation following the leak of damning emails last November, which appeared to show how the club acquired funding to supplement sponsorship money from Abu Dhabi United Group - an investment fund owned by Sheik Mansour. UEFA has a limit over how much money an owner can invest into a club, and this looks to have been breached.
According to the Daily Mail, Der Spiegel has now leaked another string of emails from the Premier League champions, which appear to show City indicating its owner had supplemented Abu Dhabi partnership deals by almost £150m. This is a serious issue, as the money is not coming directly from sponsors.
Another email, from former City chief operating officer Graham Wallace, explained the club's funding strategy, stating: "'What we therefore need is that monies we are attributing to [City's sponsors] Etisalat, ADTA, Aabar and Etihad … are physically remitted to us by those businesses … to avoid any related party influence/control considerations."
At worst, City could be thrown out of the Champions League for the alleged activity, which could have dramatic ramifications both for their financial future and the club's ability to still attract world class talent. The FA is also investigating the club for an alleged illegal payment involved in the signing of Jadon Sancho back in 2014.
Meanwhile, Chelsea is also sweating over potential consequences of their alleged misdeeds, with the club set to submit their appeal against their two window transfer ban on Monday. The Blues received the FIFA ban after being found guilty of breaching rules relating to the acquisition of players under the age of 18, including Bertrand Traore.