After an extensive four-year investigation, the Premier League has charged Manchester City FC over allegedly breaching the league’s financial rules.
It comes after one of the most successful spells in the club’s history – as under a trio of managerial tenures, the Sky Blues captured six league titles, following the 2008 takeover of the club by City Football Group, which the Abu Dhabi United Group maintains a majority shareholding in.
Nonetheless, in its charges against the Manchester club, the league stated that they had failed to provide ‘accurate financial information that gives a true and fair view of the club’s financial position’.
Issuing a statement, the Premier League said: “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.
“Commissions are independent of the Premier League and member clubs. The members of the commission will be appointed by the independent chair of the Premier League judicial panel, in accordance with Premier League rules W.19, W.20 and W.26.
“The proceedings before the commission will, in accordance with Premier League rule W.82, be confidential and heard in private. Under Premier League rule W.82.2, the commission’s final award will be published on the Premier League’s website.
“This confirmation is made in accordance with Premier League rule W.82.1. The Premier League will be making no further comment in respect of this matter until further notice.”
Additionally, the league detailed accusations that City had failed to co-operate with an investigation which commenced in 2018.
The accused club offered the following statement with regards to the charges: “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.”
Defending its position, Manchester City states it has ‘irrefutable evidence that exists in support of its position’, and ‘welcomes’ the evaluation of this information by an independent commission.
The club concluded: “As such we look forward to this matter being put to rest once and for all.”
UEFA, European football’s governing body, previously issued City with a two-year suspension following financial discrepancies. However, it was overturned after the club took its appeal to the court of arbitration for sport.
The case with UEFA rumbled on for an extensive period, given the significance of the potential sanctions, the case between the Premier League and City may well follow a similar time period.
That being said, The Times reports Premier League rules do not permit City to take the case to the Court of Arbitration for sport – which overturned the previous sanctions from UEFA.
In Italy, Juventus are currently in mid-table having been hit with a 15 point deduction – which could see the Old Lady miss out on European football next season.
Similarly to City, it was stated that Juventus had financial irregularities and false accounting, in a move that was praised as a new era of European leagues increasing toughness on implementing financial rules.