Man City seeks to change Premier League APT rules with legal action
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Manchester City has taken legal action against the Premier League in a bid to shut down some of the top-flight’s financial rules, according to The Times.

The newspaper states that a 165-page legal document drafted by City is accusing the Premier League of discrimination, taking aim in particular at Associated Party Transaction (APT) rules.

This set of rules, one of many financial regulations the league has in force alongside Financial Fair Play (FFP)) and Profit and Sustainability (PSR), largely concerns sponsorships and commercial arrangements.

APT rules particularly relate to commercial deals between clubs and companies linked to their owners. City’s legal action claims that the rules are unlawful and that support for the rules by a large number of Premier League clubs is a case of ‘tyranny of the majority’, The Times reports.

Murmurs of City’s discontent with the APT rules were first heard earlier this year. In February, Sky Sports reported that 19 of the league’s 20 clubs were informed that a team, ‘thought to be Manchester City’, was considering arbitration over APT.

The Times reports that a two-week arbitration process will begin, set to start on Monday 10 June. The paper adds that it understands between 10 and 12 Premier League clubs have accepted an invitation to participate in the hearing.

APT was first introduced back in 2021 after Newcastle United was taken over by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia. The rules’ stated purpose is to ensure that clubs owned by large wealthy conglomerates cannot engage in commercial deals above “fair market value”.

Off-pitch goings on, particularly in finance, have garnered almost as much attention as on-pitch developments during the 2023/24 season, and not just relating to the dispute over APT.

FFP and PSR have also repeatedly made the headlines. City is engaged in a separate legal confirmation regarding the former, having been accused of 115 violations of FFP dating back to 2009.

Meanwhile, Everton and Nottingham Forest are the two teams most implicated in the discussion around PSR. Both clubs faced points deductions, in Everton’s case two separate deductions, for breaching PSR requirements.

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