Leaks Reveal Man City Deal to Hide Player Costs from UEFA

Manchester City's David Silva, second right, celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's third goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Southampton at Etihad stadium in Manchester, England, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

GENEVA (AP) — A German magazine says Manchester City created a shell company for a commercial deal to disguise tens of millions of dollars in income from UEFA investigators.

Der Speigel cites internal Man City documents to show the team’s holding company, state-backed Abu Dhabi United Group, paid the shell firm to “buy” player image rights from the club.

Der Speigel says documents detail Man City’s long-term search for “creative solutions” to hiding expenses and evading UEFA monitoring of spending on players.

Man City risked Champions League expulsion for breaching “Financial Fair Play” rules.

The magazine is leading the Europe-wide publication of the “Football Leaks” documents. It previously reported that Man City threatened to destroy UEFA with legal action before reaching a 2014 settlement to forfeit 20 million euros ($22.8 million) in prize money.