Man City charges EXPLAINED: What are they alleged to have done wrong? What happens now? And could they really be chucked out of the Premier League?
- Man City are charged with breaking Premier League rules over 100 times
- Club faces the prospect of a points deduction or could even be expelled
- CLICK HERE to follow all the latest reaction to the news in our live blog
Manchester City have been charged by the Premier League with more than 100 alleged breaches of financial regulations.
The charges cover a nine-season timespan and are in relation to matters such as failing to provide accurate financial information over sponsorship revenue and not disclosing a manager’s true salary.
But what does all this mean, what happens next and what could the implications be for City?
What does the Premier League’s statement say?
The Premier League released their statement on Monday morning detailing dozens of alleged breaches of the competition’s rules by Manchester City – outlining the specific clauses in each instance.
The first section relates to the provision by clubs of ‘accurate financial information that gives a true and fair view of the club’s financial position, in particular with respect to its revenue (including sponsorship revenue), its related parties and its operating costs.’
Manchester City have been charged by the Premier League over breaches of financial rules
Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour speaks to chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak
The statement then lists the specific rules, for each season covered between 2009-10 and 2017-18, that City have allegedly breached.
It’s worth reminding readers here that the Abu Dhabi United Group, led by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Hahyan, took ownership of City in September 2008 and still retain control.
Section two, which covers only between 2009-10 and 2012-13, relates to the requirement for clubs to ‘include full details of manager remuneration in its relevant contracts with its manager.’
City’s manager during this time period was Roberto Mancini.
The third section relates to Premier League clubs ‘complying with UEFA regulation including club licensing and Financial Fair Play.’ These charges cover the 2013-14 season on to the 2017-18 season.
Section four is about rules on ‘Profitability and Sustainability’ and the charges cover three seasons from 2015-2018.
The fifth and final section, covering December 2018 to the present, relates to rules ‘requiring a member club to co-operate with, and assist, the Premier League in its investigations, by providing documents and information to the Premier League in utmost good faith.’
If found guilty, Man City (Erling Haaland pictured) could face a points deduction or expulsion
If you count up all the individual rules that have allegedly been breached listed in the statement, it comes to over 100.
It goes on to say the charges have been passed on to a Commission that is ‘independent of the Premier League and member clubs’ and the members of this Commission will be appointed by the independent chair of the Premier League Judicial Panel.
You can read all the minutiae from the statement at the very bottom of this article.
Has this all come totally out of the blue?
No, but you’d be forgiven for thinking it has. It’s actually the culmination of a four-year investigation by the Premier League but one that has been conducted with top secrecy.
The Mail on Sunday reported last May that the charges against City were potentially drawing closer because the Premier League had appointed ‘subject matter experts’ to explain the detail of the case.
But both City and the Premier League have gone to extraordinary lengths to keep this all under wraps – until now.
The Premier League statement mentions clause W.82.1 in their latest set of rules and regulations, which says the referral of the charges to the Commission will be done in public.
What are the origins of all this?
This all started when the German investigative website Der Spiegel published documents from the Football Leaks cache that originated with Portuguese computer hacker Rui Pinto.
They alleged that City had overstated sponsorship income, with money being paid by the club’s Abu Dhabi owners rather than sponsors linked to the Gulf state.
These related to sponsorship deals with the Etihad airline, who still sponsor City’s stadium and shirts, and telecoms company Etisalat.
It was alleged the money had actually come from Sheikh Mansour’s Abu Dhabi United Group.
Manchester City’s stadium is sponsored by the Abu Dhabi-based airline Etihad
It also said Mancini’s wages had effectively been boosted via secret contact with an Abu Dhabi club.
The documents published by Der Spiegel apparently showed that Italian coach Mancini received secret payments via a shadow contract that was a consultancy arrangement with Abu Dhabi-based club Al Jazira.
While Mancini’s City contract had a base salary of £1.45m net, his company in Italy was also paid £1.75m annually for the Al Jazira role. This committed him to do four days coaching at the club each year.
The emails Der Spiegel published appeared to show his company Italy International Services issued City with a quarterly invoice. They sent the money to Abu Dhabi United Group, who passed it to Al Jazira to pay him.
Mancini has previously refused to comment when asked about the arrangement.
Some of the Premier League’s charges relate to Roberto Mancini’s contract arrangements when he was City manager between 2009 and 2013
The leaks also claimed City broke rules over approaches made to young players.
It basically came down to City’s commercial figures being inflated by the Abu Dhabi United group to circumnavigate Financial Fair Play rules.
But wasn’t all that dealt with by UEFA? City were banned from the Champions League and then unbanned?
Yes, indeed. City were charged by UEFA and were banned from the Champions League for two years by their Financial Control Body in February 2020 and also fined £27million.
City went to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in July 2020, got the ban overturned and the fine reduced to £9m.
CAS said ‘most of the alleged breaches were either not established or time-barred.’ In other words, there was a five-year time frame in which to establish a solid case against City and that didn’t happen.
At the time, this decision allayed the fears of manager Pep Guardiola, who had questioned the club’s hierarchy on these financial affairs.
The Premier League’s charges against Man City come three years after the CAS lifted a two-year Champions League ban against the club and reduced a £27m fine down to £9m
Speaking last year, Guardiola said: ‘I said to our people ‘tell me’ about the suspicions. I looked at them and believed them 100 per cent from day one so I defended the club because of that.’
Manchester City have always denied any wrongdoing, saying the emails were hacked and taken out of context.
But the Premier League also launched their own investigation in December 2018 and – crucially, unlike UEFA’s – there is no such time limit on it. So here we are.
That investigation hasn’t been smooth though, has it?
No, City challenged the Premier League’s right to investigate them and their obligation to release documents.
City and the Premier League wanted all details to remain private but the Mail on Sunday argued it should be in public, with that argument going all the way to the High Court in July 2021.
City have won four of the last five Premier League titles under manager Pep Guardiola
Lord Justice Males, backed the newspaper, saying: ‘This is an investigation which commenced in December 2018. It is surprising, and a matter of legitimate public concern, that so little progress has been made after two-and-a-half years, during which, it may be noted, the club has twice been crowned as Premier League champions.’
And the rest!
Yep, backed by their Abu Dhabi wealth, City have enjoyed the most golden period in their history.
Since the takeover they have won six Premier League titles, including four of the last five, two FA Cups, six League Cups and reached the Champions League final in 2021.
So what is the next step?
The Premier League judicial panel will now be tasked with appointing the members of the Commission to look into City’s alleged rules breaches.
The Judicial Panel consists of sitting or retired judges, barristers and football administrators who adjudicate on disciplinary cases referred to it by the Premier League.
Those hoping for a quick resolution may well be disappointed. Frankly this could take years to reach a decision.
City have yet to comment but Sportsmail understands they are prepared to ‘robustly’ defend themselves.
Will they be punished?
That will depend on whether they’re found guilty and on how many of the charges.
But there are a range of potential sanctions, including a points deduction in the Premier League or even expulsion from the league altogether.
List of charges against Man City
Details of the Premier League Rules that the Man City is alleged to have breached are as follows:
1. In respect of each of Seasons 2009/10 to 2017/18 inclusive, the Premier League Rules applicable in those seasons that required provision by a member club to the Premier League, in the utmost good faith, of accurate financial information that gives a true and fair view of the club’s financial position, in particular with respect to its revenue (including sponsorship revenue), its related parties and its operating costs, namely:
(a) for Season 2009/10, Premier League Rules B.13, C.71, C.72, C.75 (amended to C.79 from 10 September 2009 for the remainder of Season 2009/10) and C.80;
(b) for Season 2010/11, Premier League Rules B.13, C.78, C.79, C.86 and C.87;
(c) for Season 2011/12, Premier League Rules B.13, E.3, 4, E.11 and E.12;
(d) for Season 2012/13, Premier League Rules 16, E.3, E.4, E.11 and E.12;
(e) for Season 2013/14, Premier League Rules 15, E.3, E.4, E.11, E.12 and E.49;
(f) for Season 2014/15, Premier League Rules 16, E.3, E.4, E.11, E.12 and E.50;
(g) for Season 2015/16, Premier League Rules 16, E.3, E.4, E.11, E.12 and E.50;
(h) for Season 2016/17, Premier League Rules16, E.3, E.4, E.11, E.12 and E.51; and
(i) for Season 2017/18, Premier League Rules B.16, 3, E.4, E.11, E.12 and E.51.
2. In respect of:
(a) each of Seasons 2009/10 to 2012/13 inclusive, the Premier League Rules applicable in those Seasons requiring a member club to include full details of manager remuneration in its relevant contracts with its manager, namely:
(1) for Seasons 2009/10 to 2011/12 inclusive, Premier League Rules Q.7 and Q.8; and
(2) for Season 2012/13, Premier League Rules P.7 and P.8; and
(b) each of Seasons 2010/11 to 2015/16 inclusive, the Premier League Rules applicable in those Seasons requiring a member club to include full details of player remuneration in its relevant contracts with its players, namely:
(1) for Seasons 2010/11 and 2011/12, Premier League Rules K.12 and K.20;
(2) for Season 2012/13, Premier League Rules T.12 and T.20;
(3) for Seasons 2013/14 and 2014/15, Premier League Rules T.12 and T.19; and
(4) for Season 2015/16, Premier League Rules T.13 and T.20.
3. In respect of each of Seasons 2013/14 to 2017/18 inclusive, the Premier League Rules applicable in those Seasons requiring a member club to comply with UEFA’s regulations, including UEFA’s Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations, namely:
(a) for Season 2013/14, Premier League Rule B.14.6; and
(b) for Seasons 2014/15 to 2017/18 inclusive, Premier League Rule B.15.6.
4. In respect of each of the Seasons 2015/16 to 2017/18 inclusive, the Premier League Rules applicable in those Seasons on Profitability and Sustainability, namely:
(a) for Season 2015/16, Premier League Rules E.52 to E.60; and
(b) for Seasons 2016/17 and 2017/18, Premier League Rules E.53 to E.60.
5. In respect of the period from December 2018 to date, the Premier League Rules applicable in the relevant Seasons requiring a member club to cooperate with, and assist, the Premier League in its investigations, including by providing documents and information to the Premier League in the utmost good faith, namely:
(a) for Season 2018/19, Premier League Rules B.16, B.19, W.1, W.2, W.12 and W.13;
(b) for Season 2019/20, Premier League Rules B.16, B.19, W.1, W.2, W.12 and W.13;
(c) for Season 2020/21, Premier League Rules B.16, B.19, W.1, W.2, W.12 and W.13;
(d) for Season 2021/22, Premier League Rules B.15, B.18, W.1, W.2, W.15 and W.16; and
(e) for Season 2022/23, Premier League Rules B.15, B.18, W.1, W.2, W.15 and W.16.
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