Premier League title race: Greg Dyke and Uefa rain on Manchester City’s parade

FA chairman believes it's 'pretty depressing' that City could win the title

Manchester City’s likely coronation as Premier League title-winners on Sunday will be shrouded in controversy, with the FA chairman, Greg Dyke, declaring it “pretty depressing” if a side regularly featuring only two Englishmen are champions and Uefa about to impose severe penalties on the club for at least the next two seasons.

Dyke has risked causing another storm just days after his endorsement of the proposal to create a new league for Premier clubs’ B teams by criticising the number of foreigners fielded by City. Manuel Pellegrini’s side need just a point from their final game, at home to West Ham today, to clinch their second title in three years.

“The Premiership has been brilliant,” Dyke said. “But I think there are probably two [regular] England players at City and two or three at Chelsea, although there won’t be that many next year. That’s pretty depressing.”

But the looming Uefa punishment is a bigger calamity for City, who are understood to have failed Uefa’s Financial Fair Play test with an apparent total loss of £200 million (£160m) after the governing body struck out two huge income figures the club believed would reduce those losses and get them over the line.

City now face a difficult choice between accepting the governing body’s finding – effectively admitting they have artificially inflated their own income – or appealing against the decision, which, as The Independent revealed last week, would mean risking a ban from next season’s Champions’ League. Uefa appear satisfied that City’s £350m Etihad sponsorship deal was not an artificial way of Abu Dhabi pumping money into the club. But they have evidently taken a dim view of the £22.45m City claimed as income from the sale of intellectual property to “related parties”, and possibly a further £24.5m the club claimed as earnings from image rights’ sales.

With some or all elements of those income figures removed, City have failed the FFP test by a wide margin. Critically, they cannot therefore use a vital exemption clause, allowing them to subtract £80m in wages for players signed before June 2010. That only applies to clubs which meet FFP rules.

That appears to leave City with a £160m FFP loss - the limit is £37m - and as deeply over budget in FFP terms as Paris Saint-Germain. But the club’s problems are compounded by the fact that the FFP calculations for the 2015-16 season are based around a totting up of the three previous seasons’ financial figures. Even if City break even in the current financial year – as they expect to do – they would still record a possible loss of £163m from the three years which will be taken into consideration for the 2015-16 campaign..

Two Englishmen – Joe Hart and James Milner – have played regularly for City this season. Of the rest, Joleon Lescott last played a Premier League game on 22 March, Micah Richards on 10 November, and Jack Rodwell, signed from Everton in the summer of 2012, has started one League game.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project