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Manchester City charged with breaking financial rules

February 6, 2023

The Premier League has accused Manchester City of over 100 breaches of financial regulations following a four-year investigation. The alleged breaches stretch from the 2009-10 season to the 2022-23 campaign.

UK Fußball Premier League | Manchester City - AFC Bournemouth | Pep Guardiola und Erling Haaland
Image: Martin Rickett/PA Images/IMAGO

Reigning Premier League titleholders Manchester City have been referred to an independent commission over alleged breaches of Premier League financial regulations, England's top-flight football league announced on Monday.

The period in question covers the first nine full seasons under the club's Abu Dhabi ownership, during which City won the Premier League title on three occasions in 2012, 2014 and 2018 - the year the investigation began after German news magazine Der Spiegel published documents from the Football Leaks cache.

The defending champions are alleged to have breached league rules requiring provision "in utmost good faith" of "accurate financial information that gives a true and fair view of the club's financial position […] in particular with respect to its revenue (including sponsorship revenue), its related parties and its operating costs".

City are also alleged to have not fully disclosed player and managerial remuneration over the course of several seasons, plus failure to cooperate and hand over documents as required over five seasons from 2018-19 to 2022-23.

According to Premier League rules, City, if found guilty, could potentially face fines, points deductions or even expulsion from the league.

In a statement issued later on Monday, Manchester City said it was "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 [league] has been provided with."

It continued: "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."

Christoph Winterbach, sports journalist, on revelations from the Football Leaks database

Comission to be appointed

In 2020, the Court of Arbitation for Sport (CAS) overturned a decision by European football's governing body UEFA to ban City from European competition for two years, ruling that "most of the alleged breaches were either not established or time-barred."

However, no such statue of limitations exists in the separate Premier League investigation. Premier League rules also prohibit appeals of any sanctions to CAS.

Furthermore, City are also being charged with failing to comply with Premier League's rules requiring clubs to follow UEFA's financial fair play regulations from the 2013-14 to 2017-18 seasons and failing to follow the Premier League's rules on profit and sustainability from the 2015-16 to 2017-18 seasons.

"The members of the Commission will be appointed by the independent Chair of the Premier League Judicial Panel," the Premier League said in a statement. "The proceedings before the Commission will be confidential and heard in private. The Premier League will be making no further comment in respect of this matter until further notice."

jt/mf (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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