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The German news magazine Der Spiegel have accused City of producing financial reports that were a "web of lies" and detailed allegations that significant parts of the club's sponsorship funding was in fact coming from club owner Sheikh Mansour's company, the Abu Dhabi United Group.

When UEFA were investigating City over FFP, Fordham apparently never came up. "What I can say personally on the club, of course I trust the club what they have done". The statement said the club would not comment on "the attempt to damage the club's reputation", but Guardiola fielded questions about the allegations at a news conference ahead of their Champions League game against Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday. "Believe me, I'm completely honest, I don't know what happened, I'm a manager, focused on the pitch, the locker room".

The 47-year-old also claimed that it would be unfair to put Man City's success down to financial investment alone, adding: "If people say it's just about money we accept it, but that point of view is completely wrong". Spend why? Because they need good players.

Uefa found City had breached FFP rules in 2014 and the two parties reached a settlement, with City paying a £49m fine - £32m of which was suspended - while their Champions League squad was reduced for 2014-15.

Der Spiegel allege that, under Soriano's leadership, City came up with a scheme that "allowed for numerous operational costs to be shifted either fully or partially away from the club".

"We certainly hope Uefa will take the right decisions and enforce Financial Fair Play rules, but we don't have full confidence that they will".

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Der Spiegel claims one of City's solutions to circumvent the rules was to launch Project Longbow. "But internal emails tell a different story, providing evidence of backdated contracts, illusory sponsoring payments and cavalier, "We can do what we want", business practices".

City representatives have said the Abu Dhabi-based companies are independent sponsors.

Italian manager Roberto Mancini was sacked in 2013, just after City had failed to defend their first Premier League title and lost the FA Cup final. The sale of marketing rights in this particular instances is said to have brought in €30m, boosting revenues to further help FFP compliance.

Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano (right) said City needed to fight FFP "in a way that is not visible or we will be pointed out as the global enemies of football", according to Der SpiegelWhat punishments did Man City suffer?

Federation Internationale de Football Association have called for an investigation into City's financial dealings, but the club have strongly denied the accusations.


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