The hearing into Manchester City’s 115 Premier League charges may not begin for at least another year.
Despite City being charged with an unprecedented number of alleged breaches of the Premier League’s financial regulations in February this year, following a five-year investigation, the process in hearing the club’s defence looks certain not to begin for another season at the very least.
According to the Daily Mail, the league and its champions have agreed a date at which evidence in the case will finally be presented to an independent panel: the late autumn of 2024.
An agreement would come just two weeks after Everton were hit with a 10-point deduction for their breach of Premier League Financial Sustainability Regulations, which the club on Friday will formally lodge an appeal against - likely to be heard in the new year.
City were charged with an unprecedented number of alleged breaches of the Premier League’s financial regulations in February following a five-year investigation. The sheer complexity of a case that has dragged on for years may also mean there is no final ruling until the end of next season.
It could also further delay the hearing itself, while both City and the Premier League would have the right of appeal on any verdict, potentially further elongating the process. The club, who deny any wrongdoing, are accused of breaching 115 regulations over 14 seasons from 2009-10. The charges include claims over financial reporting and a lack of co-operation with the Premier League’s investigation.
City manager Pep Guardiola recently claimed everyone outside the club wanted to see them punished over the allegations.
“We are innocent until guilt is proved,” he said before last weekend’s draw with Liverpool. “I know the people want it [City punished]. I know, I feel it. I will wait and see, and after the sentence has been done we will come here and explain.”
He added that he would remain at the club, even if they were found guilty and relegated down the divisions.
“Absolutely, I will not consider my future [if] it depends [on] being here or being in League One,” Guardiola said. “There is more chance to stay if we are in League One than if we were in the Champions League.”
City have repeatedly insisted that they have “irrefutable evidence” to back their case. They were fined tens of millions of pounds after being found to have breached Uefa’s Financial Fair Play regulations almost a decade ago and were thrown out of the Champions League for two years in 2020 for further alleged transgressions.
The latter punishment was overturned on appeal but were fined £8.9m for a failure to co-operate with Uefa investigators.