The Premier League has taken an unprecedented action by accusing Manchester City of multiple violations of financial regulations following a four-year investigation.
Manchester City is facing allegations of submitting false information regarding its revenue and sponsorship deals with companies linked to Abu Dhabi, making undisclosed payments to coaches and players, and breaking financial fair play regulations over a period of nine years until 2018.
The club is also facing accusations of not assisting the league’s investigation by failing to provide necessary documents for the years 2018 and beyond.
The case against Manchester City has been handed over to an independent commission which will examine the charges during a confidential hearing.
“In accordance with Rule W.82.1, the Premier League confirms that it has today referred a number of alleged breaches of the Premier League Rules by Manchester City Football Club (Club) to a Commission under Premier League Rule W.3.4,” it said.
“In respect of each of Seasons 2009/10 to 2017/18 inclusive, the Premier League Rules applicable in those seasons that required provision by a member club, in the utmost good faith, of accurate financial information that gives a true and fair view of the club’s financial position, in particular with respect to its revenue (including sponsorship revenue), its related parties and its operating costs.
“In respect of each of Seasons 2013/14 to 2017/18 inclusive, the Premier League Rules applicable in those Seasons requiring a member club to comply with UEFA’s regulations, including UEFA’s Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations.
“In respect of each of the Seasons 2015/16 to 2017/18 inclusive, the Premier League Rules applicable in those Seasons on Profitability and Sustainability.
“In respect of the period from December 2018 to date, the Rules applicable in the relevant Seasons requiring a member club to cooperate with, and assist, the Premier League in its investigations, including by providing documents and information to the Premier League in the utmost good faith.”
Manchester City is likely to contest the accusations and has previously fought against financial fair play penalties imposed by UEFA.
Since being taken over by Abu Dhabi in 2008, the club has progressed from being a less successful team to becoming a dominant force and generating the highest revenue of any club in the world.
This has resulted in increased attention on the club’s finances and claims, fueled by leaked internal documents, that the club artificially boosted their sponsorship revenue through agreements with other Abu Dhabi companies.
Manchester City has consistently denied these allegations and stated that the leaks were a part of an effort to harm their reputation.