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Manchester City fall foul of financial regulations

Etihad stadium, Manchester

After being accused of more than 100 financial rule violations on Monday, English champion Manchester City might lose points or potentially be kicked out of the Premier League.

The alleged rule violations between 2009–10 and 2017–18, when the club began to establish itself as the dominating force in English football, have been referred by the Premier League to an independent panel.

City, who last month finished first in the Deloitte money league of the richest teams in the world, claimed they were astonished by the accusations and insisted they had “irrefutable” proof to back them up.

The club was expelled from UEFA tournaments for two years in February 2020 due to “severe financial fair-play breaches,” however the punishment was later overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The Premier League stated in a statement that the alleged violations concern the submission of accurate financial information, the reporting of manager and player pay information, a club’s obligation to follow UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules, as well as the league’s own profitability and sustainability rules.

Additionally, City is accused of breaking the guidelines requiring them to aid and participate with the Premier League’s investigations.

If claimed violations of league regulations are proved to be true, commissioners may impose sanctions under Premier League rule W.51.

These might vary from a reprimand to a point deduction to a suggestion to the league to kick a team out of the league.

Respondents have the ability to appeal, and the commission has the authority to condition such punishments on specific measures being done within a specific time frame.

City said in a press release that they were “We are startled by the publication of these alleged violations of Premier League rules, especially in light of the extensive engagement and voluminous information that the EPL (English Premier League) has been supplied.

“The club welcomes an independent commission’s assessment of this case in order to objectively evaluate the substantial body of unchallengeable material that exists in support of its stance.

“As a result, we anticipate this issue being resolved definitively.”

According to reports, City Chief Executive Ferran Soriano was only informed of the referral for suspected violations by his Premier League colleague Richard Masters as the announcement went live on the league’s website.

The team is accused of breaking league regulations that provide for the release of “correct financial information that gives a truthful and fair perspective of the club’s financial status” in the “utmost good faith.”

The precise financial data needed, according to the Premier League, relates to “income (including sponsorship money), its linked parties, and its running costs.”

The second set of alleged infractions relates to the seasons 2009/10 to 2012/13 inclusive and allegedly involves laws “requiring a member club to include full information of manager remuneration in its relevant contracts with its manager.”

Roberto Mancini, who is currently Italy’s manager, served as City’s manager from December 2009 to May 2013.

The second set of alleged violations likewise pertains to the club’s obligations to include complete information on player compensation in the applicable contracts, for the seasons 2010–11 to 2015–16 inclusive.

The fourth set of alleged violations relates to the Premier League’s profitability and sustainability criteria. The third portion deals with suspected violations of Premier League rules requiring clubs to adhere to UEFA FFP laws.

Finally, the club is accused of breaking league rules demanding that, starting in December 2018, member clubs assist and collaborate with the Premier League in its investigations.

Despite not having won the Champions League, City won the Premier League last season for the sixth time since Sheikh Mansour’s Abu Dhabi United Group took ownership in 2008.

After a 1-0 loss to Tottenham on Sunday, Pep Guardiola’s team is currently in second place in the Premier League, five points behind the league-leading Arsenal.

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