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Man City 115 charges fear could emerge with fresh ‘pressure’ claim as Liverpool and Everton wait

Manchester City won a record fourth consecutive Premier League title in 2023/24
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images)


Concerns are said to be mounting among rivals of Manchester City that government ministers may face political pressure to intervene in the 115 financial misconduct charges levelled against the club by the Premier League, according to reports.

The club, which vehemently denies all allegations, awaits a verdict on these 115 charges as a six-week hearing is scheduled for November.

As reported by The Times, government officials declined to share details about any correspondence with the Foreign Office related to the alleged breaches of Premier League rules, citing potential harm to the UK's relationship with the United Arab Emirates.

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In 2020, the UK government involved itself in football affairs involving Gulf states when a minister approached the Premier League chairman concerning the initial refusal to ratify the Saudi-led takeover of Newcastle United. Government officials conveyed an "immediate risk" to the UK's relations with Saudi Arabia if the deal fell through.

Now, per reports, some top-tier football clubs fear new pressure might be applied to the government amidst the 115 charges hanging over Manchester City due to UK-UAE ties.

These apprehensions extend to the club's legal proceeding against the Premier League which aim to nullify the division's Associated Party Transaction (APT) rules, which the defending champions will challenge at next week's arbitration hearing.

City's majority shareholder Sheikh Mansour is part of the Abu Dhabi ruling family and serves as the vice-president and deputy prime minister of the UAE. His brother, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, is the president of the UAE, a key trading partner for the UK.

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak shared his thoughts on the 115 charges, expressing his frustration that they are being linked to their on-field success. Just last month, City clinched an unprecedented fourth consecutive Premier League title.

"Of course, it's frustrating," Khaldoon admitted during his annual end-of-season address to City's internal media. "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."