FIFA will pay Manchester City a record £3.9million as part of its World Cup profit-sharing deal with clubs, the governing body has announced.
Overall, FIFA will share nearly £164million of Russia 2018’s revenues with 416 clubs from 63 countries, nearly three times the amount it handed over after Brazil 2014.
Confirmation that the Premier League leaders top the list of recipients comes a day after UEFA chief Aleksander Ceferin said European football’s governing body is set to decide what steps it will take against City’s alleged attempts to circumvent financial fair play (FFP) rules.
City were fined nearly £50million for breaching FFP in 2014, with UEFA also imposing squad and spending limits on the club.
Two thirds of that fine, however, was suspended and then waived three years later when the club appeared to comply with UEFA’s financial rules.
The basis of that settlement has been thrown into doubt, though, by a tranche of emails between club officials that were leaked to German magazine Der Spiegel and other European titles by the whistleblowing platform Football Leaks.
Among the allegations directed at City are that they misled UEFA by channelling rule-busting amounts of funding from their owner Sheikh Mansour through related parties in the United Arab Emirates.
It was also alleged that the club reduced their costs with bogus consultancy fees for their ex-manager Roberto Mancini and an elaborate scheme to get the players’ image rights payments off the books.
City have dismissed these claims as a “clear and organised attempt to damage the club’s reputation”.
But speaking to reporters in Dublin on Monday, Ceferin said: “We are assessing the situation. We have an independent body working on it.
“Even if I knew more, I couldn’t tell you but very soon we will have the answers on what will happen in this concrete case.”
It is understood that UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body, the independent team that oversees FFP, is weighing up whether the Football Leaks emails, which have not been disputed in terms of veracity, are grounds to reopen the 2014 investigation or should prompt a fresh assessment of City’s finances.
In the meantime, City’s success on and off the field is reflected in their payment from FIFA’s ‘club benefits programme’, which was agreed with the European Club Association in 2010 and renegotiated in 2015.
For Russia 2018, clubs that provided players to World Cup teams will receive £6,650 for each day each player spent with their national side.
European football’s dominant position in the global game is reflected in the fact that its clubs took three quarters of the total pot, with 38 English clubs sharing more than £29million between them.
Real Madrid earned almost as much as City and Spurs’ cheque of nearly £3.5million is the third biggest globally.
Barca, Paris St Germain, Chelsea, Manchester United, Atletico Madrid, Juventus and Monaco complete the top 10, with both Chelsea and United getting almost £3million each.
PSG and Monaco were also linked with FFP breaches by Football Leaks, although they have denied the claims.
Liverpool and Arsenal will both receive cheques of around £2million each, while Celtic will get almost £1million.