By Kieran Maguire

16th Nov, 2021 | 7:55am

Kieran Maguire: Premier League 'making life difficult' for Man City as £68m deal on the line

An “extra layer of bureaucracy” will make it more difficult but not impossible for Man City to continue their partnership with Etihad.

So says finance guru Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about plans to curb related-party deals in the Premier League.

There is anxiety among some in the top flight that gulf-state funded clubs are using pre-existing business links to strike inflated sponsorship deals.

The Times reported on 9 November that top-flight club may soon need to have all new sponsorship deals ratified by the Premier League.

City pocket a reported £67.5million per year from their relationship with Etihad, who have sponsored the club’s kit and stadium since 2009.

The Abu Dhabi airline has strong links to owner Sheikh Mansour, but Uefa found these links do not breach related party or fair market value rules.

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Maguire predicts that the mooted new Premier League red tape would be a new hurdle to jump.

“City will argue that those deals reflect market value,” he told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams.

“I think it will make life more difficult but it doesn’t mean those deals can’t take place.

A ‘related party’ is defined according to whether a party controls the club or if it has significant influence.

“Significant influence is usually a shareholding of 20 per cent or more or the ability to influence board decisions.

“All future commercial deals will have to meet a fair market threshold, which adds another layer of bureaucracy to everything.

“If you’re a smaller club and you strike a £50,000 deal with a local business, the Premier League will investigate that too.

“That’s money leaking out of the Premier League and into the hands of the bureaucrats.”

In other news, pundit tips Leeds United to emulate Man City after Marcelo Bielsa latest.