Arsenal title boost possibilities after Man City rule breaches

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta reviews Everton game

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

The Premier League title race between Arsenal and Manchester City has taken an almighty twist, with the Sky Blues facing allegations of breaking financial rules after a four-year investigation. A range of punishments are thought to be on the table, with the Gunners chasing down a first league title since 2003/04. 

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was dealt a blow in his title pursuit on Saturday, when Sean Dyche’s Everton consigned him to a shock 1-0 defeat at Goodison Park. That gave City the chance to close the gap to two points, although they blew it with a 1-0 defeat of their own against Tottenham. 

The Gunners may have been given another boost on their quest for the title, with City facing an ‘unprecedented’ situation. As per an official statement released by the Premier League on Monday, the Sky Blues have been charged with numerous breaches of financial rules. 

The allegations cover a lengthy period from 2009 to 2018, following an investigation that was opened into matters behind the scenes at the Etihad Stadium in March 2019. 

JUST IN: Arsenal fans gleefully thank rivals Tottenham for doing them a favour with Man City win

Arsenal could yet reap the benefits of the groundbreaking saga, with points deductions and even expulsion from the Premier League among the range of punishments on the table. With City expected to ‘lawyer up’, it remains to be seen whether the matter is resolved in time to see Pep Guardiola’s side take the hit before the current season concludes in May. 

City are chasing a fifth Premier League title in six seasons, although they currently sit five points behind the Gunners having played a game more. A points deduction impacting this season would almost certainly leave them out of reach, clearing a path for Arsenal to finish top of the pile. Turin giants Juventus were docked 15 points by the Italian federation earlier this season for their own financial troubles. 

The Sky Blues have faced similar allegations before, with UEFA previously ruling that they had committed a series of Financial Fair Play breaches between 2012 and 2016.

Pep Guardiola made four baffling decisions in Tottenham defeat
Spurs hero Kane and three others that did Conte proud in Man City win
Newcastle ‘going after’ £54m star to give Guimaraes a perfect partner

They were slapped with a two-year ban from European competitions and a £27m fine, although it was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2020 as ‘most of the alleged breaches were either not established or time-barred’. There is no similar restriction on the length of time since an alleged offence under Premier League rules. 

The Premier League has issued a lengthy statement on the current investigation, which was sparked by leaked documents published by German website Der Spiegel in 2018. City were alleged to have overstated sponsorship income, broken rules on approaching young players and used secret contracts to bump up former manager Roberto Mancini’s pay packet. Sky Blues supporters now face a waiting game before finding out what effect the ruling will have on their team. 

Clubs operating within financial guidelines has been a hot topic of late, following Chelsea’s £600million transfer blowout in just a few months under co-owner Todd Boehly. Guardiola was among the managers asked about the Blues’ relentless spree, although he kept a safe distance. 

“It’s none of my business,” claimed the former Barcelona boss. “It’s a surprise because it’s not a club state. What I can control is the fact we won 11 titles in the last five years being one of the five or six net spend teams in the league. This is all I’m concerned about what we’ve done so far in this time.”

Source: Read Full Article