The Premier League has charged Manchester City with breaking the financial rules set in place more than 100 times. The five-year investigation reviewed breaches that occurred over a time span from 2009/10 to 2017/18.
According to the Premier League, Manchester City broke the rules in the sense that the club failed to provide the league an accurate account of its financial situation. Moreover, the club failed to disclose monetary contracts issued to players and coaches. Then, it did not assist the league upon investigation.
Manchester City did release a statement countering the charges. In it, the club said it worked with investigators, providing them with “extensive engagement and vast amount of detailed materials.”
The years for which the charges stem is of note. In the summer of 2008, Abu Dhabi United Group purchased City. Before the 2009/10 season, City started its trend of lavish spending. It spent over $125 million prior to the 2009/10 season. Since 2012, Manchester City spent more than almost any other club in the world. Only Chelsea has more total spending, buoyed by a busy revelation in spending under Todd Boehly.
According to The Guardian, some of City’s financial issues come from City’s Abu Dhabi ownership group disguised its own funding as independent sponsorships by the state’s commercial companies. It used the money on transfer fees, but then allegedly had a secret contract to increase the salary of manager Roberto Mancini. That information came about from information Football Leaks found in 2018.
Manchester City previously faced punishment for breaking financial rules in Europe. In February 2020, UEFA banned City from the Champions League for many of the same reasons the Premier League’s ruling against City. Financial irregularities and failure to work with investigators led to a ban. However, City appealed UEFA’s ban successfully, so there was minimal punishment.
Manchester City break financial rules, run risk of relegation
UEFA instituted a two-year ban for Manchester City. As stated, that never happened, as City appealed with the Court of Arbitration of Sport. The punishment for City based on the Premier League’s rule breaks is also stiff.
While proceedings and hearings are in private, the consequence for breaking financial rules includes a number of possibilities. For example, if found guilty, City could have a points reduction, fines or reprimands. In an extreme case, the Premier League can expel City.
Juventus suffered a 15-point deduction for financial irregularities. The Old Lady sank from third in Serie A to 10th, practically overnight.
However, according to Martyn Ziegler from The Times, Manchester City will not be able to appeal any final decision to the Court of Arbitration of Sport, as it did for the UEFA ban.
PHOTO: IMAGO / PA Images
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