A report published by the British newspaper ‘Daily Mail’ maintains that Manchester City, through a partnership of which it forms part with 12 clubs in more than 13 countries called City Football Group (CFG), has 36 players on its payroll who they have cost 100 million pounds and they have only played a total of 6 times since they signed for City.
A situation that, added to the large amount of money that City invests year after year in strengthening its squad, and that would currently be valued at 605 million euros according to the CIES Football Observatory, is already being closely watched by the British Government.
In this sense, last February the British Government published a White Paper with the aim of reforming English football to avoid future economic problems and possible new club-States in the Premier League. A document that is in line with what LaLiga has been promoting in Spain since 2013, that is, the creation of economic control that prevents teams from going into debt and that guarantees the sustainability and competitiveness of the competition. Something that currently does not happen in the Premier, since there is no type of control and the clubs sign at a loss, as shown in the case of City, and which causes a break in the so-called financial ‘fair play’.
The investigative report indicates that the City Football Group company accounts for a large number of players around the world and that these are exchanged between teams in the same network, thus generating great controversy in the world of football. The article gives an example of Troyes in France, one of those that belongs to CFG. In the last summer market there were 4 City players who became part of the French Ligue 1 team, players who together had more than 18 years in the English club and without having played a single minute with the shirt.sky blue’. All this happened at a time when FIFA was discussing the introduction of a rule limiting international loan transfers.
The case of Troyes is not unique in Europe. In Spain, Girona made similar moves in 2017, but LaLiga responded by applying its economic control rules. According to a LaLiga spokesperson who participated in the report “since 2017, the president of LaLiga, Javier Tebas, has denounced Manchester City’s practices. He considers that these go against financial ‘fair play’ and can be classified as “financial doping”. “, and adds that” LaLiga now makes its own assessments of the value that can be attributed to loaned players for the purposes of the spending ceiling and we discourage more than one loaned player from a linked club.
Recently, a modest Belgian club, Lommel SK, has also joined LaLiga’s ‘crusade’ against this type of practice, since it could break the principle of equality and competitiveness in football, making a formal complaint to the European Commission for the financial management of one of its rivals, the Royal Excelsior Virton. The methods of that club, according to Lommel SK, violate the new EU regulations that stop those “foreign aid that distorts the internal market”, according to the statement issued by the team from the Belgian province of Limburg. The Royal Excelsior Virton would supposedly receive foreign external aid and reaches a budget of 15 million euros, while Lommel SK’s budget barely reaches 4 million. The article points out that this Belgian club has been contacted by LaLiga to offer help to fight against these methods that “distort” the competition. Lommel defends, like LaLiga, that this type of situation does not happen and both, in addition to other clubs on the continent, hope that FIFA will find a way to regulate the proliferation of owners with large capitals in world football.
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