On Monday, the Premier League accused Manchester City of breaking a number of financial regulations between 2009 and 2018, a period in which the club rose to prominence in English and European soccer after being purchased by the ruling family of Abu Dhabi.
After a four-year inquiry, during which City won the Premier League in 2012, 2014, and 2018, the league issued a lengthy statement outlining a number of the club’s alleged violations of laws.
The reigning league champion, City, is being accused of not disclosing “correct financial information that offers a genuine and fair perspective of the club’s financial status” between 2009 and 2018, as well as “complete details of manager salary in its relevant contracts,” between 2009 and 2013. During that time, Roberto Mancini oversaw the team as manager.
In addition, the Premier League claims that the club failed to cooperate with an inquiry into allegations that it violated league rules from December 2018 until the present day and failed to comply with UEFA standards from 2013 through 2018.
The league has announced that it has sent the violations to an impartial panel in preparation for a private hearing.
The Associated Press has reached out to City for comment but has not yet received a response.
Manchester City may face serious repercussions
A disciplinary committee in the Premier League can hand down fines, suspensions, and “such other penalty as it shall judge suitable,” according to the league’s governing documents.
If found guilty, an enormous fine appears imminent. There is also the possibility of having points deducted, having a championship stripped away, or even being kicked out of the league if league regulations are broken.
At the same time that the Premier League was looking into City’s finances, the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned City’s two-year ban from European club competitions in 2020 due to UEFA’s finding that City had committed “serious breaches” of financial fair play regulations between 2012 and 2016.
Though the court found that some of the claims against City were not established or could not be adjudicated due to a statute of limitations under UEFA regulations, City was not completely exonerated of wrongdoing.
City was also ordered to pay a fine of 10 million euros (about $11.3 million at the time) for not helping authorities with their inquiries. The club’s “blatant contempt” must be “strongly condemned,” the court said.
Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and a member of the royal family of Abu Dhabi, purchased City ten years ago, and the club has since been converted into an English soccer powerhouse under his leadership.
Previously overshadowed by Manchester United, City has emerged victorious in the Premier League, FA Cup, and English League Cup a total of six times under Abu Dhabi ownership.
That run of victories ranks as the best in the club’s 143-year existence.
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