Premier League says Manchester City violated financial rules

A general view of the Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City, on September 14, 2022 in Manchester, UK. The Premier League referred the club to an investigation into an alleged breach of financial regulations.

Dave Howarth – Camerasport | Camerasport | Getty Images

LONDON – The English Premier League on Monday announced that it has taken Manchester City Football Club to an independent commission over alleged violations of its financial rules.

The organizing body of the English top men’s league said this included a rule requiring clubs to provide it with accurate financial information giving a “true and fair view of a club’s financial position”, particularly in relation to revenue.

This has been claimed to have been broken in every season from 2009-10 to 2017-18.

The Premier League also stated that the club was unable to provide full information on the remuneration of managers from 2009/10 to 2011/12, as well as on remuneration of players from 2010/11 to 2015/16.

He also claimed that the club had not cooperated or assisted in the investigation of the case for the past four years; and violated the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Rules between 2013 and 2018.

The commission will be held behind closed doors, whose members will be appointed by the chairman of the Premier League Judiciary.

The club told the BBC in a statement: “Manchester City are surprised by the release of these alleged violations of Premier League rules, especially given the extensive interaction and sheer amount of detailed material that [English Premier League] was provided.”

“The club welcomes the consideration of this issue by an independent commission, which will impartially consider all available irrefutable evidence supporting its position. Therefore, we hope that this issue will be closed once and for all.”

Angus Buchanan, managing director of the London group The Sports Consultancy, told CNBC the timing was unlikely to be a coincidence, given Wednesday’s release of a government review on football governance reform. The document is expected to recommend an independent regulatory body to oversee club ownership and funding.

Manchester City is owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan through his Abu Dhabi-listed firm Newton Investment and Development LLC, the majority shareholder of City Football Group’s holding company.

In 2022, the club won the Premier League for the fourth time in five years.

A Manchester City representative was not immediately available for comment when he contacted CNBC.

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