Man City Premier League charges explained: How serious, possible punishments and what happens next

Man City Premier League charges explained: How serious, possible punishments and what happens next

Manchester City have been charged by the Premier League with multiple alleged breaches of their financial rules.

In an explosive announcement on Monday that followed an investigation spanning four years, the top-flight accused the reigning champions of more than 100 infringements in a story that rocked the football world.

In response, City registered their “surprise” at the charges but said they welcomed the chance for an independent commission to impartially review what it believes is “irrefutable evidence that exists in support of its position”.

City added: “We look forward to this matter being put to rest once and for all.”

Here, Standard Sport’s Malik Ouzia explains the charges in full and what could come next...

What have Man City been charged with?

Yesterday, the Premier League announced charges against Manchester City over more than 100 breaches of their rules. The charges are the result of a four-year investigation, which was launched in 2018 following allegations of City’s financial misdemeanours made by German outlet Der Spiegel.

The charges refer to the past 14 Premier League seasons, from 2009-10 right up until the current campaign, and largely relate either to financial rule-breaking or, in more recent years, failing to co-operate with the investigation.

How serious are Man City’s charges?

Extremely. A situation like this — the Premier League levering charges of such breadth and severity against one of their own clubs — is without precedent. Among the breaches are accusations that City failed to provide accurate financial information regarding their revenue, including sponsorship.

The aforementioned Der Spiegel investigation previously alleged that City had overstated their income with money paid by the club’s Abu Dhabi owners, rather than sponsors. They are also accused of failing to fully disclose managerial renumeration during Roberto Mancini’s four-year tenure and failing to comply with both Uefa’s Financial Fair Play regulations and Premier League profitability and sustainability rules.

What punishments could Man City face?

At this stage, almost nothing is off the table. Premier League rules hold provision for a wide range of sanctions including fines, points deductions, the stripping of titles and even expulsion from the League.

The punishment, though, will have to be deemed proportionate to City’s infringements, if proven, or be vulnerable to being reduced on appeal. In 2020, Uefa attempted to ban City from the Champions League, following their own

investigation, but the club overturned the decision on appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Who will decide Man City outcome?

Arsenal fan Murray Rosen KC (below) chairs the Premier League’s judicial panel and will appoint a three-person independent commission to hear the case (in private), which may or may not include himself.

City are set to defend themselves to the hilt, having on Thursday referred to what the club believes is a “comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence that exists in support of its position”.

Even if the commission finds City guilty, there will almost certainly be an appeal, though CAS will not be allowed to rule since Premier League clubs do not recognise the body.

What happens next for Man City?

City have until February 23 to issue a formal response, after which an initial hearing could begin as early as next month. However, given the complexity and severity of the charges, the saga is more likely to rumble on and Premier League rivals keen on a decision before the end of the season may well be disappointed.

Pep Guardiola’s future will be another issue of uncertainty should City be found guilty, having claimed previously that he would quit if it turned out the club’s hierarchy had misled him. If wrongdoing is proven, City could face further legal action from clubs who have missed out on titles, European qualification and the like during the period of offence.