Manager Arsene Wenger hinted in a press conference today that Manchester City may be using New York City FC as a way to beat the Financial Fair Play guidelines.
The Financial Fair Play (FPP) guidelines state that a club can only lose €5 million if their owner does not inject capital. If they do lose more than that, they can be subject to a range of fines and bans.
These guidelines, however, are only enforced for clubs within Europe. So, if for example, Manchester City wanted to buy a new team in, let’s say America for ease, then this new team would not have the same financial regulations as Man City has.
So if Manchester City were due to lose €6 million in the next three years, why wouldn’t they get New York City to buy a young player from them for €1.1 million. They would then be within the guidelines and not be fined.
It is this that Wenger is worried about. And it is this that could scar the integrity of the English leagues.
I am not saying that Manchester City do this, or would even think about doing this, but the infrastructure is in place. And should they need to use this facility, there is nothing in the rule book stopping them. There are no rules against an owner of two teams doing business between them.
Of course, they would need to show the mutual benefit of a deal, but this could be arranged.
It is clear that New York City are going to be a feeder club for Man City, and there is nothing wrong with this. But if this turned into a ploy to beat the FPP guidelines, then I worry for the future of the league.
Wenger said that Arsenal doesn’t have the money to perform this sort of operation, but Man City definitely do. They have the money, the influence and the infrastructure in place to beat FPP. Who knows what could happen should they do it.