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Manchester City remain silent on fresh FFP abuse claims

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Neil Ashton and Sam Wallace discuss on Sunday Supplement new allegations that Manchester City broke UEFA rules in order to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations

Manchester City are continuing to stay silent on allegations they broke UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules following a fresh wave of leaked emails in German publication Der Spiegel.

The magazine has published further claims that include the City owner Sheikh Mansour injecting funds directly into the club to top-up sponsorship income.

UEFA rules restrict the amount of money an owner can provide but, through his investment fund the Abu Dhabi United Group, Mansour is alleged to have exceeded the limit.

Sheikh Mansour
Image: Sheikh Mansour, Manchester City's owner, is alleged to have supplemented the club's sponsorship income to allow them to pass Financial Fair Play rules

In response, the Premier League champions issued the same statement they have given on all of Der Spiegel's claims since they emerged in the Autumn last year - the first of which were allegations of "systematic" FFP abuses that are currently under investigation at UEFA.

"We will not be providing any comment on out-of-context materials purported to have been hacked or stolen from City Football Group and City personnel and associated people," the club said. "The attempt to damage the club's reputation is clear."

In January, Yves Leterme, the chairman and chief investigator of UEFA's Club Financial Control Body, said City faced "the heaviest punishment - exclusion from UEFA competitions" - if they were found guilty.

Bruno Zuculini
Image: Bruno Zuculini was part-owned by a third party during his time at City, say Der Spiegel

City are also being investigated by FIFA for alleged third-party ownership breaches and are facing an FA probe over allegations of rule-breaking in the transfer of Jadon Sancho from Watford in 2015.

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Last week, the FA confirmed to Sky Sports News it is investigating Der Spiegel allegations that City paid the agent of Sancho for his transfer from Watford despite the player being 14 at the time, which is against the rules.

An FA spokesperson said this weekend that they "are aware of and will consider" allegations that City failed to reveal a previous signing of theirs - Bruno Zuculini - was owned by a third-party, which is also in contrivance to FA rules.

City are currently being investigated by FIFA over allegations they broke third-party ownership rules over the acquisition of talent from an African football academy, which is owned by Tom Vernon - the owner of Danish side FC Nordsjaelland.

City were given a fine and suspended academy transfer ban by the Premier League in 2017 following breaches of the league's youth development rules.

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