Manchester City accused of dozens of financial violations

The Premier League on Monday accused Manchester City of breaching its financial regulations for more than a decade, paving the way for a costly, high-stakes fight that could see City, one of the most dominant football teams in Europe over the past decade, expelled. of the top English league.

The charges, outlined in a statement released by the Premier League on Monday morning and unprecedented in their scale, accuse City of repeatedly failing to provide accurate financial information “which gives a true and fair view of the club’s financial position, in particular with respect to its revenues (including sponsorship revenues), related parties and operating costs.

City, who have won six Premier League championships since 2011, have also been accused of failing to disclose contract payments and failing to cooperate, as required, with Premier League investigators.

Manchester City had no immediate comment on the charges.

It is unclear what penalties Manchester City could face if the league charges are upheld. Under Premier League rules, teams that have breached its rules face penalties that can include reprimands, fines, table point deductions or even expulsion from the Premier League.

The charges date back to 2009, a year after Manchester City was bought by the Abu Dhabi ruler’s brother and a turbocharged era of spending and success began.

Under the guidance of its Gulf owner, Manchester City have become one of the most successful and biggest spending sides in world football, a serial champion of England and a regular contender for the world’s best and biggest players. European trophies.

Throughout this period, there have been suspicions over Manchester City’s financial dealings and its willingness to adhere to cost and financial control regulations not only of the Premier League, but also of European football’s governing body. , UEFA. In 2020, UEFA banned Manchester City from its main competition, the Champions League, for two years for breaching financial rules, although the club appealed the decision and overturned the ban.

In challenging the ban, City focused on a few words from the UEFA regulations, which set a five-year time limit for punishable offences. Indeed, the UEFA investigation had taken too long to examine the most serious breaches, and the club thus escaped the most severe sanctions imposed on them.

Unlike UEFA, the Premier League does not have a limitation period in its regulations.

The scale of wrongdoing involved by the Premier League is remarkable in its scale. No previous investigation has lasted as long as the current case against Manchester City, and none has produced allegations of wrongdoing spread over as many seasons.

Several of the accusations date back to the 2009-10 season, and at least one refers to the current campaign. Manchester City are currently second in the Premier League and are aiming for their fifth title in six years.

nytimes sport

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