Roberto Mancini answers Manchester City questions: 'I have paid my taxes'
Roberto Mancini became one of the first figures in the Premier League’s allegations over Manchester City’s financial wrongdoing to declare his innocence, telling a press conference in Naples: “I have paid all my taxes”.
Mancini, 58, the City manager from 2009 to 2013, leads Italy against England in Thursday’s Euro 2024 qualifier and said that he has not been contacted by the Premier League lawyers about allegations that his salary disbursements by City broke financial fair pay regulations.
It was alleged in 2018 in documents obtained by the German magazine Der Spiegel that Mancini’s salary at City was paid partly through the Abu Dhabi club Al Jazira Sports and Cultural in the Arabian Gulf League. That club was also under the control of the Abu Dhabi United Group which is the ultimate owner of City via the City Football Group. Mancini was alleged to have been paid £1.75 million annually as a consultancy fee for Al Jazira on top of his £1.45 million salary at City.
City have said the documents were “hacked” and presented information out of context. Last month the club were hit with 115 charges over financial arrangements over commercial deals with Abu Dhabi entities; breaking Premier League profit and sustainability regulations, and corresponding Uefa financial fair play; and refusal to comply with the investigation. In July 2021, the Court of Appeal decision revealed that City had tried to challenge the jurisdiction of the Premier League.
Asked whether he had been contacted by the Premier League’s legal department Mancini said that was not the case. “No, I haven't been contacted or called up by anyone,” he said, “and I don't think anyone will contact me. I have paid my taxes, it's all above board. So I don't think anyone will be in touch.”
This will be the fourth time England have faced Italy since their Euro 2020 final defeat at Wembley in July 2021, although Gareth Southgate’s team are still yet to win one of those games. The England manager pointed out that an England team have not won in Italy since 1961 when Gerry Hitchens and Jimmy Greaves scored the goals in a 3-2 victory in a friendly in Rome.
Mancini is also under some scrutiny himself in Italy after his team’s failure to qualify for last year’s World Cup finals came hard on the heels of their victory in the European championships. Much of the Italian focus is on a possible debut for the Sicilian-heritage, Argentina-born striker Mateo Retegui, who has opted to pursue a senior international career with Italy. The 23-year-old is registered to Boca Juniors but has broken through this year on loan at another Buenos Aires club, Tigre.
Mancini said the run of five games between Italy and England, including two games in the Nations League in the autumn, and the two Euro 2024 qualifiers, had made the match-up “a bit of a Clasico”. “It’s the fourth time in two years we've come up against them. England are one of the best sides in the world. They have an extraordinary group of players for selection. They have always been unlucky. A tough game tomorrow.”