Manchester City’s legal battle continues
Manchester City Football Club, a prestigious English club which was founded in 1880 has been caught up in a legal fight with the Premier League for several years without any convictions. The Club, which is currently standing at number 2 in the premier league table has been breaching FFP and Premier League policies.
Sky Sports states that the Premier League have charged the football club with 115 breaches of their policies across 15 different seasons.
These breaches include failing to disclose accurate financial information and managerial remuneration details. The breaches occurred during periods across 2009-2018 in which time the club won the league 3 times.
Financial Fair Play policies were introduced in 2009 when the UEFA was concerned about the number of clubs spending more than they were earning in their pursuit of success. The clubs were creating debts that were not sustainable and would have led to bankruptcy for them.
The Premier League adopted their own set of FFP, focusing on profitability and sustainability rules.
This means that now the Premier League reviews each club’s spending and sets a limit on the extent to which they can keep running a loss. No club is allowed to lose more than £105 million over 3 years.
However, this does not include spending on investments in the stadium and training ground, community programmes, women’s football, and youth development instead these are known as ‘add-backs’ and are excluded from the restrictions.
These policies allow for each club to prevent unsustainable debt and so prolong their existence. Additionally, each team is restricted in spending meaning no one club can benefit from financial investments and ideally have equal opportunity in the Premier League based on skill levels.
Will they be facing any consequences?
The club were suspended in 2020 for 2 seasons and fined EUR30 million however this was lifted after an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and the fine was reduced to EUR10 million. The statement was that the breaches were not established and so the club could not be convicted for them.
Manchester City were not the only team who have been accused of breaching the policies. Everton and Nottingham Forest were also charged with breaching the profitability and sustainability rules. Everton were deducted 10 points in the league back in November.
Not only have Manchester City breached the rules, but the Premier League also allege that they did not comply with UEFA’s financial policies over the course of 5 years. The Guardian reports that they have also been accused of not fully and appropriately cooperating with the Premier League’s investigation.
Manchester News informed us that in the last two years, the club has spent more than £400m on signings and not had a significant amount coming into the club.
The club also suffered a £42m fiscal year loss after reporting a record deficit of £115m in 2022.
Manchester City are spending far too much with not enough profit being returned. This is a clear breach of FFP and could result in fines or a deduction of points in the premier league.
Manchester City have denied all claims of breaches, making the case complex and explaining why it has taken so long to reach any verdicts.
“The Premier League and its clubs met and held productive discussions in relation to a number of matters. This included plans to move towards a new financial settlement with the EFL – and to agree a long-term deal for the good of English football.”
From the latest Premier League meeting which was focused on how to make sure the FFP policies are being followed strictly, no verdict has yet been reached however discussions on making sure football clubs adhere to the policies were a top priority.
The club’s financial ability to spend on signings as well as lawyers to support them in their legal battle has caused this case to be prolonged. Whilst the club still has not faced any real consequences, others like Everton have had points taken away for the same accusations.
The question of whether Manchester City will ever face any consequences is ongoing.