Manchester City Under Scrutiny after Sponsorship Deal and Pick Up New Sponsor Mansion

August 17, 2011

UEFA are going to scrutinise the sponsorship deal between Manchester City and Etihad Airways.

The sponsorship deal is worth an estimated $658m, covering the club’s shirt and the stadium.

The chairman of Uefa’s Financial Control Panel, Jean-Luc Dehaene, was asked about City’s deal and said: “I had some questions, yes.

“You know where the problems are and you know you will have to confirm them. But on the other hand they are all members of the ECA (European Club Association) and if they don’t follow the rules they won’t have the support of the other clubs.

“But it would be dangerous for our authority if we take judgements without facts.”

The 71-year-old former Prime Minister of Belgium confirmed his panel would look into all deals to make sure they were “fair value”.

“If we see clubs that are looking for loopholes we will act,” he said.

“It is not enough to say ‘we’ve got a sponsorship contract and that’s OK’ if the contract is out of line.”

Manchester City were bought in 2008 by Abu Dhabi-based consortium led by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The club made a loss of $153m in 2008-09, $199m in 2009-10 and last year’s figures, due in September, are unlikely to fair any better, despite an increase in turnover partly due to a number of lucrative sponsorship deals with other Abu Dhabi-based companies.

This sponsorship deal with Etihad Airways, for example, is owned by the Abu Dhabi government.

While this incident has gone on City has signed up with Mansion Group as its new international betting partner. The betting company used to sponsor Tottenham Hotspur but will now help the FA Cup Champions over a range of commerical activities, including creating a better brand image.


Guy Gussarsky, CEO of Mansion Group, said:“Our love of the English Premier League means that we are very excited to be partnering with Manchester City as their international betting partner for the next two seasons.”

Ian Cafferky, the club’s chief brand and commercial officer, added: “Mansion Group is one of the fastest growing and innovative companies within the gaming industry. Having them on board as our new partner is an exciting prospect and marks a new commercial chapter for the club. Manchester City has huge ambitions and an ever growing international fan base, which makes Asia a key market for the club. Renowned for its love of football, Asia has enormous potential for the future and we are delighted to increase our brand presence in the region.”