The Premier League (PL) has charged Manchester City for allegedly violating the league’s accounting regulations following a four-year investigation.
It follows one of the most effective periods in the history of the club when the Sky Blues won six championships under three different managers following the 2008 takeover of the club by City Football Group (CFG), in which the Abu Dhabi United Group owns a majority stake.
The organisers of perhaps the biggest football league charged the Manchester club for failing to provide ‘relevant financial statements that appear to give a fair and accurate portrayal of the club’s financial position’.
Issuing a statement, the Premier League, quoted, “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.”
Furthermore, the league also alleged that City had ceased to work cooperatively with an investigation that began in 2018.
The accused club offered the following statement with regard 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. As such we look forward to this matter being put to rest once and for all.”
In protecting its stance, Manchester City claimed ‘indisputable proof that arises in assistance of its position’ and ‘accepts’ an independent commission’s evaluation of this information.
UEFA, the governing body of European football, previously suspended City for two years due to financial irregularities. It was quashed, consequently, after the club filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The scenario with UEFA dragged on for a long time; given the gravity of the possible future sanctions, the case between the Premier League and City may take a similar length of time.
However, according to The Times, the Premier League rules prohibit City from taking the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which overruled UEFA’s previous sanctions.
In Italy, Juventus are found mid-table after being docked 15 points, which could mean the Old Lady will miss out on European football next season.
Likewise to City, it was revealed that Juventus had financial irregularities and false accounting, in what was hailed as a new era of European leagues tightening up on financial rules implementation.