MANCHESTER CITY CHARGES EXPLAINED
2023-02-09 · 3 min read · Premier League/Soccer
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Manchester City has been charged with alleged breaches of financial rules by the Premier League - but what are they? How serious are the charges? And how long will this process take? Let’s break it all down for the reigning Premier League champions.
What are the charges?
Manchester City has been charged with breaking financial fair play rules around 100 times over a nine-year period, which starts in 2009 and goes on until 2018. During that period, Man City won the Premier League three times.
The Premier League's financial fair play rules are designed to ensure clubs pretty much spend what they earn. You can get around that potentially by inflating how much you're earning or hiding how much you are spending. According to the Premier League, Man City allegedly broke the rules over nine seasons. They allegedly didn't provide accurate financial information. The suggestion is that there was a secret contract so one of the managers was getting paid much more than officially stated.
In the past when they've been investigated by UEFA, Man City has always insisted they have done nothing wrong. In February 2020, they were banned by UEFA from European competition for two seasons and also fined €30m (£26.8m). Man City took that case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The ban was overturned, and the fine was reduced to €10m (£8.9m). At the hearing, the panel found most of the breaches alleged were not established or the time was barred, which effectively means they happened too long ago for UEFA to do anything about them.
What are the possible punishments?
According to Premier League rules, it can be a points deduction or even the threat of expulsion from the Premier League, although I think that would be an extreme punishment. But, if it was a points deduction, it would be a deduction that would be in the current season, so if they were found guilty in a future season, that's when the points deduction would be applied.
How are other clubs in England reacting?
Many Premier League clubs want City to be relegated if they are found guilty of breaking rules over nine seasons. There is a feeling among top-flight clubs that taking away City's titles retrospectively would be meaningless and cause confusion, but a fine is also not likely to have much of an effect, either. There will not be much sympathy for City, who have won the Premier League six times in the last 11 years if they are found guilty.
What do I think will happen?
Considering Juventus was just charged weeks ago by the Italian soccer federation resulting in a deduction of points, I can see the same being done to Manchester City. Man City will no doubt appeal the decision so that point deduction will most likely only occur next season at the earliest. Still, being deducted points and possibly missing out on Champions League soccer is a huge blow to Man City. It is the one trophy that has evaded them to this point. If the EPL wants to make a real statement and scare off other clubs from doing the same, they should relegate Man City to the Championship. That would not only send a message to other clubs (looking at you Chelsea) but would have a detrimental effect on City as it will be difficult for them to attract new signings and hold-on to the world-class players they currently have.
By: Aaron Cantin