Manchester City have been charged by the Premier League with more than 100 breaches of its financial rules. The charges have been made after a four-year investigation.
The club have been referred to an independent commission over the alleged breaches of the rules between 2009 and 2018. The Premier League have also accused the club of not co-operating since the investigation began in December 2018.
City have responded by saying that they were “surprised” by the charges and are supported by a “body of irrefutable evidence”.
City have been charged with breaking financial fair play rules approximately 100 times during a nine-year period. During this period, 2009 until 2018, the club won the Premier League on three occasions.
The Premier League’s financial fair play rules are designed to ensure that the spending of clubs stays in line with their earnings. According to the Premier League, City allegedly broke the rules over nine seasons. They allegedly did not provide accurate financial information.
The Premier League also allege Man City failed to comply with UEFA’s financial fair play rules over a five-year period. They also allege that City have not fully co-operated with the Premier League’s investigation.
If City are found guilty, the commission are able to impose punishments ranging from a fine and points deduction to expulsion from the Premier League.
In the past, when investigated by UEFA, City have always denied any wrongdoing. In February 2020, they were banned by UEFA from European competition for two seasons and fined €30m (£26.8m). The club responded by taking the 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, meaning hey happened too long ago for UEFA to do anything about them.
However, Premier League rules do not include time bar, meaning that when City mount a defence, they will be unable to say that the allegations took place too long ago to do anything about them. Once the commission reach a verdict both the Premier League and Manchester City will have a right to appeal, although the case cannot be taken to the CAS.