It has been reported that there is no sympathy to be found for Man City from their Premier League peers, as clubs call for the Sky Blues to be RELEGATED from the English top flight!
City were dropped into hot water recently when it was revealed that they may have broken over 100 financial fair play rules during a period where they won 6 Premier League titles.
City themselves deny the allegations, that have stemmed from a 4 year investigation into their spending, especially during the 2008/2009 & 2017/2018 seasons.
City themselves denied any wrongdoing and their legal team even found errors in the original allegations, which have now been rectified by the investigating team. Amongst other allegations, the club were accused of ‘failing to give a true and fair view of the club’s financial position’ – something which City again deny.
A spokesman for the Sky Blues was also reported as saying “The Premier League has spent the last four years on this issue and still managed to make mistakes in the statement”. He added “We have no doubts that this was because the announcement was rushed through to deflect away from the postponed White Paper”
Despite the Manchester club’s claims to innocence in the alleged matters, some of their fellow Premier League opponents have wasted no time in calling or the relegation of City down to the Championship as punishment for their misconduct.
The Sun reported a ‘club chief’ as saying “If these charges are proven there must be proper punishment – and the only fitting one is for the to be relegated. We’re talking about a decade of alleged abuses and want the Premier League to do the right thing”
Such calls for a relegation punishment for the Blue side of Manchester makes one think back to the 2006 Calciopoli Scandal in Serie A.
It is not just other teams who are taking this investigation seriously, however. City’s manager, Pep Guardiola, has stated that he will leave should he find out that the club has lied to him in regards to their financial conduct.
What are City being accused of exactly?
The allegations against City cover hiding the true source of the club’s funding, declaring only part of salaries paid to players and former boss Roberto Mancini, breaching UEFA financial fair play regulations, and obstructing the investigation since it began in 2018. In total, 30 charges detailing 115 alleged breaches of regulations.
According to the claims, City reported millions of pounds of revenue as sponsorship earnings from companies such as Etihad Airways, when it in fact is alleged to come directly from the club’s owners – Abu Dhabi United Group. This sparked the investigation into the club hiding ‘the true source of its funding’.
In regards to former boss Roberto Mancini, City are accused of paying him through two separate accounts. Apparently, Mancini’s official £1.45 million salary was paid through the club’s books, with a remaining £1.75 million being paid through Sheikh Mansour’s club, Al Jazira. Alongside the accusations around Mancini, the club are also accused of failing to ‘include full details of player remuneration for a 6 year period’.
The allegations of Man City breaching UEFA’s financial fair play rules is one that is not new to the club. They were initially given a 2-year ban from the Champions League in 2020 for breaching the FFP rules, although this was overturned.
Alongside alleged FFP rule breaking, the club are also accused by the Premier League’s legal team of breaking their ‘profitability and sustainability regulations’ for 3 entire seasons up until 2018.
The final group of charges laid on City’s doorstep were as a result of the club allegedly ‘failing to cooperate’ from December 2018 when the investigations began, right up until the stage we are at now. This could end up being the most serious set of allegations, with the club being accused of ‘not providing documents and information in the utmost good faith’.
Innocent until proven guilty?
City themselves were reported as being furious with the allegations. As mentioned earlier in this article, some of the club’s representatives feel that the charges were brought out of nowhere against the club, as an attempt to distract fans from the delay of football’s White Pages – which would allow fans to have a say in how the game is run and monopolised going forward.
The club are confident that they will come out of the investigation squeaky clean, with a spokesperson saying “The club welcomes the review of this matter by an independent, commission, to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence that exists in support of its position. As such, we look forward to this matter being put to rest once and for all”.
Although an official timescale has not been given, it is reported by Premier League spokespersons that a hearing could come as early as next month to resolve the matter. Both parties will be allowed an appeal panel to review the evidence again should the verdict go against them.
Do YOU think City should be relegated to the Championship over these allegations? LET US KNOW BELOW!