It was late Tuesday morning, April 12, 2011, when a senior official from Etihad Airways’ sports sponsorship division sent an email to a business contact at Manchester City’s ‘partnerships’ department.
Manchester United, led by Sir Alex Ferguson, would win their 19th English top-flight league title a month later, breaking Liverpool’s previous record of 18. Chelsea finished second with 71 points, slightly ahead of City, who had 71 as well.
City, then managed by Roberto Mancini, had been without a title for 43 years, but with a core of influential players such as Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, David Silva, Yaya Toure, Gareth Barry, James Milner, and Carlos Tevez — who shared the Premier League Golden Boot with Dimitar Berbatov — they appeared to be on the verge of a true renaissance.
To put this in context, The Mail on Sunday has been told — and has seen corroborating paperwork — that Manchester City invoiced Etihad for £12 million for the 2010-11 shirt sponsorship deal, despite the fact that the invoice had a handwritten annotation stating that Etihad was only due to pay £4 million that year.
Source: Daily Mail