City discussing FFP with UEFA
Manchester City chief executive Garry Cook has revealed there have been conversations between the club and UEFA over how they intend to meet new Financial Fair Play regulations.
Given the grandiose plans for land around the stadium, it is estimated Etihad Airways has pledged between £300 million and £400 million over the next ten years for a range of projects that include renaming City's home the Etihad Stadium.
Even so, it will not come close to wiping out losses in excess of £120 million posted in City's last accounts, to May 2010, which leave them in jeopardy of failing to meet FFP.
However, Cook has confirmed an open dialogue with European football's power brokers and given the Blues' "aggressive" commercial plans, the gap is closing quickly.
"We have a very open dialogue with UEFA," Cook said. "We have had several meetings with UEFA about our plans and they are very supportive of Manchester City's ambition.
"There are many football clubs who have the backdrop of regulation that is being placed into the world of football. We are no different to any other football club."
A special Airbus-330, with a City livery, will fly between Manchester and Abu Dhabi as part of the deal, which also includes an extension to Etihad's present shirt sponsorship and the renaming of an area around City's stadium, now known as the 'Etihad Campus'.
It all forms part of an ultra-ambitious plan to gatecrash Europe's elite clubs. Owner Sheikh Mansour has invested in excess of £1 billion so far, including the acquisition of the club three years ago, and has been rewarded with a place in next season's Champions League plus the FA Cup, City's first trophy in 35 years.
He has already shelled out on two signings this week in Gael Clichy and Stefan Savic, although that duo would be eclipsed by the arrival of Samir Nasri, with fresh reports surfacing in Italy that a fee has been agreed with Arsenal, which City are yet to respond to.
Having made the mistake of trumpeting rather too loudly his view of City's future direction, and been left with egg on his face when Manchester United beat the Blues in a 2010 Carling Cup semi-final, Cook is wary of saying too much at such an early stage of the summer.
"I have got into trouble with this one before," he laughed. "We will look to continue our growth, on and off the pitch. Our ambition for next year means we are competing in a new competition - the Champions League - plus the three others. We will endeavour to be successful in all four."