Advertisement

Fresh Man City ‘pressure’ claim over 115 FFP charges sparks concern as Arsenal watch on

Nathan Ake, Manuel Akanji and Phil Foden of Manchester City celebrate with the Premier League trophy
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images)


There's reportedly a growing unease among Manchester City's Premier League rivals over the possibility of political pressure building on ministers to intervene over the 115 charges facing the club.

The Times has shed light on the reluctance of government officials to release details pertaining to Foreign Office communications linked to the alleged Premier League rule violations, citing potential harm to UK-UAE relations as the reason for withholding information.

The UK government has previous for dipping its toes into football-related affairs involving Gulf nations. In 2020, a minister reached out to the Premier League chairman regarding the stalled Saudi-led acquisition of Newcastle United, with officials warned of an "immediate risk" to UK-Saudi relations if the Newcastle deal fell through.

Now, per recent reports, there's apprehension within some Premier League circles that similar governmental pressure could be applied in the case of the 115 charges facing Manchester City, given the close ties between the UK and the UAE.

This anxiety isn't just about the charges themselves; it extends to City's ongoing legal challenge against the Premier League's Associated Party Transaction (APT) rules. The reigning champions are set to contest these regulations at an arbitration hearing next week, adding another layer of complexity to the unfolding drama.

Sheikh Mansour, Manchester City's majority shareholder and a member of the Abu Dhabi ruling family, holds key roles as the vice-president and deputy prime minister of the UAE. His brother, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, is president.

READ MORE: How Enzo Maresca first-ever Chelsea XI could look with new signing starting, Nkunku role change

READ MORE: Benjamin Sesko must avoid repeating Mykhailo Mudryk Arsenal transfer mistake after 'devastation'

In connection to the 115 charges being levelled against City, chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak expressed his irritation during his annual end-of-season address to the club's internal media. In what proved to be a successful season where they clinched a fourth consecutive Premier League title, the discourse around these charges has been particularly frustrating for him.

"Of course, it's frustrating. The referencing is always frustrating. I feel for our fanbase and everyone associated with the club to have these charges constantly referenced. It's taking longer than anyone hoped for but there is a process we have to go through. I've always repeated, let's be judged by the facts and not by claims and counterclaims."