Premier League charges against Manchester City, explained

To be clear, City have only been accused of breaches of financial rules at this stage.

If the club are found to have breached the rules, however, the Premier League have penalties which could include trade penalties such as reprimands and fines and – much more worryingly if you’re City – point deductions at the classification or even expulsion from the top. division.

Kicking City out of the Premier League would be a very big deal. Rewriting the league’s record books and its title history would be equally important. Manchester City have spent billions to build a serial Premier League champion and annual Champions League contender. Losing part of it with the stroke of a pen would be amazing.

The Premier League set out their charges against Manchester City in five points littered with legalese and references to rules such as B.13, C.71, C.72 and C.75 (amended to C.79).

Let’s simplify them:

The first point argues that for each season from 2009-10 to 2017-18, Manchester City failed to comply with rules requiring member clubs to provide accurate financial information to the league, giving it “a true picture” of the league’s revenue. club (think sponsorships) and running costs (think salaries).

What does that mean? All Premier League clubs sign up to a compliance code, promising to behave as actors in good faith and to provide up-to-date and accurate versions of their accounts to be audited annually. City have long been accused of inflating the value of their sponsorship deals with entities linked to their Gulf owners, including UAE national airline Etihad and telecommunications company Etisalat.

Another set of accusations suggests that according to the Premier League, Manchester City have not been truthful in their contract reports detailing the remuneration of their manager and certain players over several seasons.

What you may not know: City are accused of cutting the cost of players’ and coaches’ salaries by paying part of them through third parties or secret deals, an allegation that first emerged when German news magazine Der Spiegel reported that former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini actually signed two contracts when he joined the club in 2009. The first paid him £1.45 million (about $1.7 million ) to coach Manchester City. The side deal paid him a bit more to consult with a UAE-based team, Al Jazeera, for just four days a year. Manchester City chairman Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan is also chairman of the company that owns Al Jazeera.

nytimes sport

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