By Hritika Sharma
– The Premier League has charged Manchester City with alleged violations of its regulations, starting from 2009 and continuing into the current 2022-23 season.
For every season from 2009-10 to 2017-18, Manchester City are alleged to have breached rules that require clubs to provide accurate financial information to give the league a “true and fair view” of the club’s revenues, including sponsorships, and operating costs.
German publication Der Spiegel reported in November 2018 that City inflated the value of their sponsorship deals with organisations related to their Abu Dhabi owners, including state-owned airline Etihad and telecoms company Etisalat.
City are part of the City Football Group, which is majority owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, half-brother of the ruler of Abu Dhabi.
The Premier League contends that City were in violation of rules requiring clubs to comply with European soccer governing body UEFA‘s Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations for the seasons from 2013-14 to 2017-18.
UEFA hit City with a two-season ban from European competition in 2020 for breaching its FFP rules.
The suspension was overturned after City successfully argued at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) — sport’s highest court — that most of the allegations were either unproven or outside UEFA‘s statute of limitations.
The Premier League alleged City did not cooperate with the league during the entirety of its investigation, which began in 2018, including providing documents and information.
City said on Tuesday they had provided the league with “extensive engagement and vast amount of detailed materials”.
UEFA have previously claimed City failed to cooperate with their investigation on FFP breaches in 2020. The claim was upheld by CAS, which said City showed “blatant disregard” to the investigation.
The Premier League’s rules require clubs to disclose how owners planned to cover losses, which are not allowed to exceed 105 million pounds ($126.99 million) over any three-year period.
The league has charged City with breaching these rules in the 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 campaigns.
REPORTING OF CONTRACTS
The Premier League alleged that City did not fully disclose contracts detailing managerial remuneration from the 2009-10 to the 2012-13 seasons, when Roberto Mancini was in charge, and player compensation from the 2010-11 to the 2015-16 campaigns.
The Premier League has referred City to an independent commission, which will take the case to a confidential hearing.
City can appeal the judgement but it cannot be taken to CAS. A separate panel would convene to review any appeal.
If City are found to have breached the rules, the Premier League’s sanctions range from a reprimand and fines to points deductions and expulsion from the top flight.
($1 = 0.8269 pounds)