City happy Lampard deal is above boardComment on this story
London - Manchester City are confident they have not broken UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations by taking Frank Lampard on loan.
The 36-year-old midfielder has signed a two-year contract with emerging MLS side New York City - one of Manchester City’s sister clubs.
But the American side do not enter the league until next March so Lampard will play for the Premier League champions until January.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger raised doubts at the weekend over whether Lampard’s loan - given the club he is contracted to - adhered to the FFP rules to stop clubs spending more than they earn. City failed UEFA’s FFP tests last season and must include five home-grown players in a restricted 21-man Champions League squad - of which Lampard will be one.
However City, who are close to breaking even this year, are steadfast in their belief that they have not bent UEFA’s regulations in their move for Lampard.
UEFA rules state Lampard’s loan move falls inside the FFP guidelines provided City pay the former Chelsea midfielder’s wages, which they insist they will. Although Manchester City, New York City, Melbourne City and are all owned by holding company City Football Group - who also own shares in Yokohama Marinos - they are run as standalone businesses.
With that in mind, City believe the relationships with their sister clubs are no different from feeder club arrangements - for example Chelsea’s agreement with Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem.
City do not see loan arrivals from New York, Melbourne or Yokohama becoming a regular occurrence. They feel the main benefit of the partnerships will be for the club’s talented academy players to be loaned out.
Meanwhile, Monaco defender Ricardo Carvalho has spoken of his surprise at Lampard’s move to City.
Carvalho, who spent six seasons at Stamford Bridge with Lampard, said: ‘I’m a supporter of Chelsea so of course I would prefer to see him back at Chelsea rather than in a City shirt. But you have to respect his decision.’