Der Spiegel has also claimed that City struck a deal with UEFA to avoid a Champions League ban when it was found they had breached FFP rules, and that a third-party company to which they sold player image rights was also funded by the Sheikh. At the time of the email, France legend Michel Platini was Uefa president. "Believe me, I'm completely honest, I don't know what happened, I'm a manager, focused on the pitch, the locker room".
"We work every day but the reality is that we don't start matches well, but if we don't start well and we end well, that's fine".
In the latest allegations to plunge City into turmoil, it is alleged a risk analysis regarding a possible deal with Arabtec was carried out by executives but that, despite the report concluding a partnership with the company would have "significant potential to damage the perception and standing of the club and its owners", the club struck an agreement regardless, signing a regional contract that would be publicised only in Arab states, Russian Federation and Turkey, where there was considered to be less risk of condemnation. And we want to do what we have to do in terms of the rules.
There is an obvious rebuttal - that Uefa's Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations were a carve-up, designed in part to ringfence European football's established elite and to clip the wings of nouveaux-riches types like City and Paris Saint-Germain - and it is one that will get rather more sympathy here than elsewhere, but that is, at best, a distant secondary issue.
Der Spiegel also reported last Friday that Man City threatened to destroy UEFA with legal action before reaching a 2014 settlement to forfeit 20 million euros ($22.8 million) in prize money.
The Catalan coach has delivered a combination of thrilling football and results as City romped to the title with a record 100 Premier League points last season.
David Frommer, spokesman for the European Club Association, said the organisation had "full trust in UEFA's organs of control in holding clubs to account".
City's Abu Dhabi owners are alleged to have reimbursed Fordham directly in a move which shaved millions off the club's wage bill and allowed them to report around £26m extra in marketing income.
"We will need to fight this", Soriano wrote, according to the magazine, "and do it in a way that is not visible, or we will be pointed out as the global enemies of football". "The most important will be Shakhtar, first because it is the next one and second because it is a final". Usually clubs pay players for their image rights.
Man City apparently wanted to shift some costs away from the club and helped set up a shell company called Fordham Sports Management with two British investors.
"This was a very good deal for MCFC", a PwC analyst, said, according to Der Spiegel.