Will Man City’s looming sanctions hurt New York City FC?

Cris Italia
New York City FC
New York City FC / Mike Stobe/GettyImages
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If you are still scratching your heads over New York City FC’s January transfer window that yielded very little in return for what they lost well evidence that it will continue this way is clear. The next four years will look bleak for a team gearing up for a brand-new stadium. Despite NYCFC being valued at the 4th highest in the league, it’s reported losses the last 2 seasons. One could ask how a team without a stadium rank so high or what does it actually all mean for the future?

NYCFC’s losses are carried on by City Football Group (CFG) which owns 13 other teams throughout the world. One of those teams,  perennial powerhouse Manchester City Football Club, provides the largest portion of profits of teams like Palermo FC at the Serie B level in Italy or Girona FC of La Liga in Spain. Multiple reports this month have now come to light that Man City will be facing charges for breaking financial rules across nine seasons. The Premier League confirmed a number of alleged breaches after a 4-year investigation was recently completed.

This isn’t the first time the team and company have been investigated. In July 2020, Man City had a 2-year suspension overturned after the Court of Arbitration for Sport found them guilty of serious breaches of financial fair play regulations. Unfortunately for the prosecuting body, the investigation and most of the damning evidence had fallen beyond a 5-year statute.

So what does this all mean for New York City FC?

If CFG depends on the profits from Man City to not only keep them at the top of their league but also absorb the losses of teams they own in other leagues then these possible sanctions could be costly. If Man City are guilty of these charges, not only do they stand to be relegated, but also no tournament play and no additional sources of revenue.

In a recent post, we speculated that NYCFC while building out their brand new stadium in Queens, NY would be in a rebuild and cut spending. Furthermore, they’d be developing their young players and be sellers feeding teams within the CFG system.

Not completing the transfer of someone like Santiago Rodriguez after a successful loan stretch, further cemented those thoughts. Fans grew more concerned when they saw their Captain, Sean Johnson sign with Toronto and saw the departures of Maxi Morales, as well as, Alexander Callens, Anton Tinnerholm, Heber, Nicolas Acevedo, and Gedion Zelalem among others.

So far their reason for clearing their roster and bringing in a few players isn’t clear, but what is clear is that the entire organization including its biggest driver of profits is in trouble. Whether you think this won’t affect NYCFC is moot. The company had to cover 12 million dollars in losses last year and that was in a season where they went to the conference finals and won silverware in the Campeones Cup.

In addition to the expenses going towards building a stadium, major sanctions on Man City mean tightening their belts when it comes to spending. January’s transfer window was an indication of what was to come.

If Man City is indeed found guilty for most of these findings of paying out more than they make don’t be surprised if the lack of spending in the most recent transfer window doesn’t happen again over the next four seasons. Having their own stadium means they will be a lot more self-sustaining and less dependent on the health of CFG and Man City, but again that's not for another four years.

If somehow Man City pulls out of this or gets a slap on the wrist, something like 1 year of sanctions, it’ll become a lot easier to navigate, but still expect reduced roster expectations. Expect Man City to loan out some of their most expensive players if they are relegated and lean on the other 13 other teams to help fill roster spots to help their flag chip team gain promotion quickly.

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