FIFA President Gianni Infantino helped Manchester City avoid harsh punishment after the club overruled FIFA's fair play rules.
Recently leaked documents – which we are currently unable to independently assess – claim that the 48-year-old Italian has helped the Premier League club reach a favorable agreement with UEFA and the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB).
The documents allege that Infantino was involved in negotiations that allowed the Paris Club and the French club Paris Saint Germain to avoid strict sanctions for spin-offs related to sponsorship revenues.
Reuters reports that the Football Leaks documents contain private e-mails, contracts and presentations that relate to clubs over the past 10 years.
The papers contain alleged statements about UEFA's investigation into the financial affairs of the two clubs, the settlement conditions and Infantino's involvement in the negotiations.
City and PSG, both owned by investors from the Middle East, are said to have signed a contract with UEFA and the CFCB, allowing them to value sponsorship contracts well beyond their true value.
The documents claim that the city was allowed to earn three times more revenue from some Abu Dhabi sponsors than independent experts worth buying, which was about £ 20 million more per year, while PSG's business with the Qatar Tourism Authority was $ 100 million Euro was estimated per year, although it is worth a few million.
If that were the case, these arrangements would have helped to increase the clubs' income so that they could comply with UEFA rules limiting the losses that clubs may suffer.
That in turn could have helped clubs spend tens of millions more on players than they would have otherwise.
UEFA's rules on "Financial Fair Play" require clubs to make their revenue transparent and largely match it with their spending.
The rules are intended to encourage clubs to live within their means and to prevent the richest owners of the sport from crushing their competitors, ruining the lively competition that attracts fans.
The rules provide for a limit to the losses that clubs may suffer.
Among other things, they should prevent clubs from raising high debts or receiving unlimited amounts of money through excessive sponsorship agreements with owners' organizations.
In short, sponsors of related parties should not pay more than the market price to support a club.
In a statement, Manchester City said, "We will not comment on out-of-context materials that are alleged to have been hacked or stolen by City Football Group and Manchester City employees and their associates.
"Attempting to damage the club's reputation is organized and clear."
PSG said compliance with the rules of financial fair play was "exemplary".
The deputy chairman of the club, Jean-Claude Blanc, also said the financial regulations had been abused and "become a tool to prevent newcomers from winning Europe's top football tournament" and "to prevent shareholders from freely entering their business invest".
The owners of both clubs were not available for comment.
According to the documents, Man City and Paris St. Germain rejected the claim of the UEFA supervisory body that sponsors from their home countries are close to their owners.
The clubs also denied that the reviews of the sponsorship were bloated. In an April 2014 response to UEFA investigators, Man City, an assessment conducted by an external expert for the UEFA Control Authority, which said the club was in contact with the main sponsors, said "false conclusions and allegations".
The problems arose during UEFA's routine monitoring of club finances. Comparisons agreed by the UEFA Control Authority with the two clubs in 2014 indicate that none of the clubs complied with the UEFA rules and that both clubs agreed to settle disputes over their finances in order to avoid possible legal costs.
UEFA stated in its statement: "In cases where clubs can only compensate and compensate for overpayments with cash, a settlement agreement has always been the preferred solution, in which case the focus is on limiting outside-football revenue become."
The leaked reports will not be favorable to the campaign by Infantino, which will again run for the FIFA Presidency in 2019.
The documents allege that the former UEFA secretary has frequently contacted the clubs in financial compliance negotiations.
According to the documents, Infantino in an e-mail sent in April 2014 to his colleague Ferran Soriano, CEO of Man City, agreed to appoint Man City and UEFA lawyers to "negotiate a settlement that is more than a warning and effective / deterrent can not dramatically affect the business with MCFC (Manchester City Football Club). "
UEFA stated in a statement that the organization and its rules of financial fair play were "helping clubs become financially sustainable and living within their means and sanctioning them only as a last resort".
One of its main objectives was to ensure that "European club football as a whole is sustainable".
UEFA added that the rules of Financial Fair Play are relatively new and that the decisions and sanctions in the first cases have brought both UEFA and clubs to an unknown territory.
It added: "UEFA is confident that obvious inconsistencies, which may seem obvious to some, have been removed as the system has evolved and become more widely known."
FIFA, in answer to the questions addressed to Infantino, stated that the central purpose of the rules of financial fair play was "to improve the standards of financial management in European football, reduce debt and help clubs on the basis to trade their own resources. " So they can be run as stable and sustainable companies. "
The rules are "an economic success story for European football".
The rivals have claimed that the two clubs have unduly benefited from overvalued sponsorship contracts and called on UEFA to take action against them.
The financial power of Man City and Paris St. Germain has helped bring them to the top leagues in England and France and to qualify for the UEFA Champions League top European tournament.
Spanish football chief Javier Tebas claimed last year that Man City and Paris St. Germain received "state aid" that "distorted European competitions and created a spiral of inflation that irreparably damages the football industry."
Man City and Paris St. Germain rejected such allegations when they came up last year and said the clubs had abided by the rules of Financial Fair Play.