Manchester City transfer news: City could still suffer if Uefa relax FFP merely to suit new owners

City have been linked with Paul Pogba, Raheem Sterling and others

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Manchester City’s hopes that a relaxation on Uefa Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules will give them huge freedom to spend may be frustrated, amid suggestions that clubs with new owners will be the main winners from the overhaul.

With the decision on how FFP will be modified scheduled to be made at Uefa’s Executive Committee meeting in Prague, a week on Monday and Tuesday, The Independent understands that the governing body has been persuaded that the current regime is proving a millstone for those clubs which are finding a buyer.

A possible scenario is that sides like Milan – who are currently seeking such investment – will be allowed a short period of accelerated spending, allowing new owners to capitalise on their investment, so long as they can demonstrate how they will subsequently bring the club quickly towards a break-even figure. The firm possibility of clubs with new owners benefiting most from the relaxation of rules underlines the influence of Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani within the European Club Association, which is a driving force behind the changes.

British clubs seeking buyers, such as Randy Lerner’s Aston Villa, could also view the emphasis on new owners as helpful, albeit Villa are a distance away from needing to comply with Uefa’s FFP rules.

Lawyers yesterday indicated that allowing clubs with new owners such an advantage may seem discriminatory, though it is likely to be one of a number of measures designed to make the FFP system work more effectively.

City have made formal bids for Raheem Sterling

City await the Prague decision with interest, amid suggestions in L’Equipe last weekend that clubs which were in breach of FFP last year – including themselves and Paris Saint-Germain, both handed £49million fines – would not be allowed to benefit from a more flexible system. The newspaper reported that PSG are expecting to be denied the chance to spend more freely until 2019, with Monaco constrained to their existing spending until 2020.

“PSG viewed [the changes] as good news for the 2016 transfer window and was already beginning to consider major purchases,” L’Equipe reported. “But it will not happen. The French capital’s side will not be affected by these changes.”

City did not spend to full capacity last summer and have always felt that they would be able to invest in the squad this summer.

The loss of James Milner, Frank Lampard and Dedryck Boyata has created potential to pay out on wages for Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling, Juventus star Paul Pogba and Kevin de Bruyne, of Wolfsburg. But the disappointment of continued UEFA restrictions may impede their attempts to bring in Pogba, if they find themselves in a bidding war with Real Madrid.