Manchester City have moved to protect themselves from allegations of breaking FFP rules, financial foul play if you will, with the Premier League champions confirming they will pay Frank Lampard’s full salary during his loan spell with the club.
It was confirmed by Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini on Sunday that Lampard would be joining the club on a temporary basis before completing a permanent deal to New York City FC, the Citizens’ sister side.
This short-term move came as something of a surprise and around suspicions that Manchester City are using their new found relations as a way to circumnavigate UEFA rulings. However, as reported by BBC Sport, this is not the case with Lampard.
The England international’s salary at Chelsea was around £150,000-per-week, and it has been reported that he will continue to earn something similar following his departure, although with a pay structure based more on bonuses.
Lampard left Chelsea earlier in the summer following the expiration of his contract, with this departure bringing an end to his illustrious 13-year spell at Stamford Bridge. The veteran midfielder was long expected to move to New York, although this was not confirmed until mid-July.
With NYCFC not set to join MLS until the 2015 season, it was claimed that Lampard could move to other sister club Melbourne City FC in order to maintain his fitness until then. But it is Manchester City who have taken advantage of this six month or so window.
But Manchester City do not feel they are bending the rules with this, and paying 100 percent of the 36-year-old’s wages would appear an attempt to prove it. There will, however, will be those that question the ethics of trading between this ‘family’ of clubs.
Manchester City may be covering the costs of Lampard but, given they are part owners of NYCFC, then those in opposition may well point out that it is basically the same cash being used to pay the player. Essentially, Man City pay in part for Lampard wherever he plays his football.
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Will he face Chelsea?
For Lampard meanwhile, he will appreciate the opportunity to remain at the top level for as long as possibly, but the prospect of playing for the Manchester club will come as something of a wrench at first given his ties to Chelsea.
It is claimed that Lampard has already requested he does not play against Chelsea when the two sides meet on September 21, and fairly so. Given the depth of players available and the nature of the deal, and may well be that this request is granted.