A four-year investigation referred widespread league and Financial Fair Play rules violations to a league commission. If wrongdoing is confirmed, a points deduction could be among the consequences.
One of the most successful global clubs in any sport over the last decade, defending Premier League champions Manchester City were formally accused by league officials Monday of breaking financial rules over the last nine seasons following the completion of a four-year investigation.
City are alleged to have violated more than 100 rules between the 2009-10 and 2017-18 seasons, notably failing to provide “accurate financial information that gives a true and fair view of the club’s financial position.” The Premier League will consider both private and open-ended sanctions that could potentially include fines, a points deduction in the league table, or even relegation from England’s top division altogether. The club notably won four Premier League championships during the span in which these alleged financial improprieties are said to have taken place.
Specific accusations from the league include:
- Club revenue, including sponsorship income and operating costs like full details of manager pay between 2009-10 and 2012-13 under Roberto Mancini, and player pay between 2010-11 and 2015-16.
- UEFA rules and regulations regarding Financial Fair Play from 2013-2014 to 2017-2018.
- Premier League rules on profitability and sustainability from 2015-16 to 2017-18.
“In accordance with Premier League Rule W.82.1, the Premier League confirms that it has today referred a number of alleged breaches of the Premier League rules by Manchester City Football Club to a Commission under Premier League Rule W.3.4,” the Premier League said in a statement.
This latest episode is not the first Manchester City Financial Fair Play accusation on record. In 2020, the club was banned from European competitions, including the Champions League, for two years due to serious FFP breaches from 2012-16, but the ban was quickly overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. UEFA began its investigation in 2018 after German newspaper Der Spiegel published leaked documents in November 2018 as part of its Football Leaks investigation that Man City inflated the value of one of its sponsorship deals.
“Manchester City FC is surprised by the issuing of these alleged breaches of the Premier League Rules, particularly given the extensive engagement and vast amount of detailed materials that the EPL has been provided with,” Manchester City said in a statement. “The Club welcomes the review of this matter by an independent Commission, to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence that exists in support of its position. As such we look forward to this matter being put to rest once and for all.”
City currently sit No. 2 in the Premier League table five points behind leaders Arsenal. It competes in the Champions League’s Round of 16 on Feb. 22 with a match in Germany against Red Bull Leipzig.
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