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Manchester City in fresh controversy over 400m deal

05 Oct 2011 12:43:01

Manchester City in fresh controversy over 400m deal

Money-bags Manchester City have sparked fresh controversy over their record ?400m sponsorship deal. European football's governing body, UEFA, and rival clubs voiced concern over 'financial fair play' after the Blues announced a 10-year stadium, shirt and training campus deal with Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways. That's rich: The money and the stars are rolling in at Manchester City The deal was more than twice the previous highest -  JP Morgan Chase's $300m (?187m) for the new Madison Square Garden - and dwarfed the ?90m over 15 years paid by Emirates to Arsenal in 2004. And now the local council, who own the land and built the stadium for the 2002 Commonwealth Games with ?112m of lottery and public money, have revealed they agreed to hand over control of the naming rights for just ?2m a year so City could conclude the Etihad Airways deal. City already pay around ?2m a year in rent to the council. Sir Howard Bernstein, the council's chief executive, defended the deal, which they hope will help regenerate east Manchester. 'We are very satisfied with the deal, a doubling of the income we were receiving at the stadium,' he said. 'We believe the proposed development will provide a platform for furtheremployment-led regeneration. Importantly, we are getting money back continually from an investment of lottery and public money in sport.' Grand designs: An artist's impression of City's proposed new complex Marc Ramsbottom, leader of the opposition Liberal Democrat group on the Labour-controlled council, added: 'I am not criticising ?2m for the stadium naming rights, because we cannot actually assess whether a better deal with Manchester City might have been done. 'And while investment is very welcome, such developments have often not lived up to the grandiose claims made for their regeneration benefits.' Manchester city council still owns the stadium, on which it spent ?22m of council tax payers' money to have the running track removed and convert it for City to occupy as tenants after the Commonwealth Games. City handed their former Maine Road home to the council, and spent ?20m installing bars, restaurants and corporate entertaining areas. The terms of the rent were for City to pay the council a proportion of ticket income above Maine Road's 32,000 capacity, which has produced around ?2m for the council annually since 2003 - ?16m in total. The council's income from the stadium goes into other sports facilities on the site, according to the original agreement with Sport England, which provided ?90m in lottery funds to build the stadium. A Sport England spokesman confirmed the newly renegotiated rental arrangements had been independently assessed as fair value by the financial consultants KPMG.  Lucky Red Devils! United stars dominate rich list...but still trail Beckham's ?135m fortuneCity fear Aguero could make groin injury worse on Argentina dutyWe'll be ready for you! Fergie warns rivals after City's storming start to season


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