English football club and current champions of the premier league Manchester City charged by Premier League breaches of financial rules according to multiple sports sources.
The Premier League referred the case to an independent commission. The alleged breaches span a period from the 2009-10 season to the 2017-18 campaign.
The club 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”.
The league says the accurate financial information required related to “revenue (including sponsorship revenue), its related parties and its operating costs”.
The second set of breaches listed refers to alleged breaking of rules “requiring a member club to include full details of manager remuneration in its relevant contracts with its manager” related to seasons 2009-10 to 2012-13 inclusive.
The second set of alleged breaches also refers to requirements for a club to include full details of player remuneration within the relevant contracts, for the seasons 2010-11 to 2015-16 inclusive.
The third section deals with alleged breaches of Premier League rules requiring clubs to comply with UEFA financial fair play regulations, between 2013-14 to 2017-18.
In 2020, Man City had a two-year ban from European football overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), after being handed a suspension by UEFA’s club financial control body (CFCB) in February 2020 for “serious breaches” of club licensing and financial fair play regulations.
The fourth set of alleged breaches relates to the Premier League’s profitability and sustainability rules in seasons 2015-16 to 2017-18 inclusive.
Finally, the club are alleged to have breached league rules requiring member clubs to co-operate with and assist the Premier League with its investigations, from December 2018 to date.
BREAKING: Man City charged by Premier Leaue with numerous breaches of financial rules following a four-year investigation.
This is unprecedented: pic.twitter.com/ZGzdX210qP
— Martyn Ziegler (@martynziegler) February 6, 2023
The Premier League – which opened its investigation in March 2019 – has referred the alleged offences to an independent commission.
In a statement, the Premier League said: “In accordance with Premier League rule W.82.1, the Premier League confirms that it has today [February 6 2023] 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.”
As well as expressing their surprise at the charges, Man City also claimed to have provided “extensive engagement” and a “vast amount of detailed materials” to the Premier League’s investigation.
“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,” read the 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.”
The news of Manchester City charged for these breaches comes as no surprise as many have begun to wonder how clubs maneuver financial fair play and spend so much during transfer windows.
Man City are said to feel that journalists were briefed about the charges before they were, while there have been questions regarding the timing of the announcement, given the imminent publication of a white paper by the government that could lead to an independent regulator in football.
However, it is understood the announcement of the charges was unrelated to the white paper and that no briefings were made before the statement was published on the Premier League website.
The independent commission will be formed of three members, who will be selected by Murray Rosen KC, the chair of the Premier League’s judicial panel.
The three-person commission can include any of the 15 members of the judicial panel, as well as non-members.
Once a judgement is made, the Premier League and Man City will be able to appeal – although it cannot be taken to the CAS.
Instead, Rosen would appoint an appeal panel made up of new members. There are currently six members of the Premier League appeal panel.
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