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Chelsea 'side with Man City' in Premier League battle as Arsenal and Tottenham answer request

Todd Boehly & Behdad Eghbali
-Credit: (Image: Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)


Chelsea are one of three clubs to reportedly have sympathy with Manchester City ahead of Thursday's Premier League annual general meeting, while Arsenal and Tottenham are said to have supplied information for the summit in support of the league.

On Tuesday, it was revealed that City were launching legal action against the Premier League over its recently passed associated party transaction (APT) that gained the approval of the 14 majority needed to bring it into competition law. The Premier League champions will face off in an arbitration hearing between June 10 and 21, with the club believing that the APT rules passed in February are unlawful.

According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea, Aston Villa and Newcastle United all believe that City have valid concerns ahead of a hearing on Monday. City will try to get the rules that limit how much companies linked to club owners can spend, thrown out.

Chelsea meanwhile, provided a statement challenging the updated rules on APT with regards to multi-club ownership. Villa co-owner Nassef Sawiris is thought to be close to City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak, and also shares the same frustrations over the imposed limit on spending.

In addition, between ten and 12 clubs are reported to be in support of the Premier League to defend itself against City. The Daily Mail add that the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal, Fulham, Wolves, Brighton and Tottenham are among the clubs to be in support of the Premier League and while some have provided witness statement, others are claimed to have provided letters.

When Newcastle United were bought by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF) back in late 2021, by December of that year, new rules around APT had been voted on by clubs. Those APT rules were introduced in an attempt to stop any plans to accelerate the growth of Newcastle's commercial revenue by PIF leaning on relationships with big businesses that they owned in the Middle East.

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Speaking in an interview with club media on Wednesday, before the legal action was first reported, City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said: "I hope there's a bit more sensibility in regulating, (that there is) always a balanced approach. This is good for all the leagues, be it in England or the rest of Europe. I think you won't see the same level (of transfer spending) as we've seen in the past few years because of the level of regulations that have come into place over the last 12 months."

With their case, City argue that they are subject to a 'tyranny of the majority' as a result of the rules, which were introduced in 2021. If City are successful in their challenge, this would give clubs allowance to set up commercial deals free from independent oversight of their true value.

As for Chelsea, they have an agreement with Infinite Athlete, a company that lists the club's joint owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali among its investors. The pair are thought to want transparency over APT and an expedited process.

The PA reports that clubs will also be asked at the annual general meeting to vote for the new financial regulations following criticism of the current Financial Fair Play and Profit and Sustainability Rules (PSR). If anchoring is fully introduced, clubs would see a salary cap coming in. If clubs vote in favour, then it will replace PSR currently in place, from the 2025/26 season onwards.