Sunday, 10th July, 2011

Manchester City’s new record-breaking sponsorship deal with Abu Dhabi airline Etihad has been blasted by Bayern Munich chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

The Citizens lost £121M last year as they continued to invest heavily in their squad to reach the Champions League – a feat they accomplished under Roberto Mancini last season. Now City have their eyes on the Premier League title.

More finance therefore is needed and to this end the club announced a partnership with Etihad Airways over ten years, which will see Eastlands renamed the Etihad Stadium, and is believed to be worth up to £400M.

The injection of cash should help City along their way to meeting UEFA’s new financial fair play regulations, which come into force in 2013.

However, there have already been suggestions that the amount paid is inflated, in part due to owner Sheikh Mansour’s links to Abu Dhabi, where the city’s ruler is his half-brother.

"Perhaps they know a trick which I don’t that will allow them to take part in the Champions League", said Bayern’s Rummenigge, amid suggestions UEFA will investigate the deal.

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