Will Manchester City Get Banned from EPL?

China's population falls for first time since 1961
Author: Dennis Njore

The Premier League alleges that Manchester City has been breaking the fair play rules systematically over a span of 15 years. Below are the said allegations and breaches.

Premier League allegations of Manchester City FC

50 breaches between 2009 & 2018: Premier League requires clubs to report accurate financial information that gives a true and fair view of the club’s financial position with respect to its revenue.

8 breaches between 2009 & 2013: Clubs are required to include full details of manager remunerations in their contracts with their manager. Roberto Munchini was the club manager at the time who led them to their first Premier League title.

12 breaches between 2010 & 2016: Clubs are required to include full details of player remuneration in their contracts with their player.

5 Breaches between 2013 & 2018: Premier League requires clubs to comply with UEFA regulations. Including UEFA club licensing and financial fair play regulations

25 Breaches between 2015 & 2018: Profitability and sustainability.

30 Breaches: Premier League requires clubs to cooperate and assist Premier League investigation by providing documents and information in the utmost good faith.

The fate of Manchester City FC

The Independent Commission has been set up to review these allegations and if Manchester City FC is found guilty, the commission has the power to:

  • Deduct performance points
  • Order club to pay costs
  • Cancel or refuse player signings and registrations
  • Suspend the club from playing league matches
  • Recommend to the board that league matches be replayed
  • Recommend to the board that the league expels the club
  • Order compensation
  • Conditional punishment
  • Make other orders as it sees fit

The Independent Commission however, will conduct its work privately and its decision will be published on the Premier League website. If Manchester City are not satisfied with the decision, they can appeal the decision and another private hearing will be granted.

This is not the first time they have been sued with similar allegations. Following the investigations by UEFA in the past, Manchester City were found guilty and were banned from European football competition for two years but they appealed to the Court of Arbitration for sports and they had that ban overturned. Nonetheless, they cannot go to the court of Arbitration for sports to appeal the decision of the Independent Commission this time round.

There are claims that journalists had been briefed beforehand rather than Manchester City FC being given advance notice of what was to come. There are other claims that news was delivered to Manchester City CEO Ferran Soriano by a phone call when these news were being released to the public.

Manchester City has issued a statement saying, "Manchester City FC is surprised by the issuing of these alleged breaches of the Premier League Rules, particularly given the extensive engagement and vast amounts of detailed materials that the EPL has been provided with. The club welcomes the review of this matter by an independent commission, to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence that exists in support of its position. As such we look forward to this matter being put to rest once and for all."

Manchester City believes that they are being used as an example of the Premier League being able to keep its own house in order. The timing has been noted by those behind the scenes to be in relation to the soon to be released White Paper on football governance which may recommend the setting up of an independent football regulator.

All this fiasco is said to have been started by a young Portuguese hacker called Rui Pinto who was hacking through club emails and major agents’ emails. He gave his hack material to a German Magazine called Dash Biggle who 5 years ago, published a story investigation called Football Leaks which alleged that Manchester City among other clubs were breaking financial fair play rules, UEFA rules, and Premier League rules by overstating their sponsorship income.