Manchester City has been charged by the English Premier League with more than 100 breaches of the league’s financial rules spanning across almost a decade, according to a statement released on Monday.
The EPL accused City of failing to provide accurate information about the club’s revenue, which include sponsorship income and operating costs between 2009 and 2018, as well as the refusal to cooperate with investigations since December 2018.
City were also charged with breaches in relation to remuneration of Roberto Mancini, when he was in charge at Etihad between 2009-10 to 2012-13 seasons and remuneration involving players between 2010-11 and 2015-16.
The charges also include the alleged breaching of the UEFA Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules from 2013-14 to 2017-18 and also the EPL rules on profitability and sustainability from 2015-16 to 2017-18.
Some breaches dated back to a year after the club was purchased by Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008, and rose to prominence since then and Premier League has been on the investigation for the last four years.
In 2020, UEFA banned Manchester City from European competitions for two years and fined them €30 millions for “serious breaches” of FFP rules between 2012 and 2016.
However, the decision was overturned by Arbitration for Sport (CAS) the same year as the breaches had elapsed the timeline.
Meanwhile, BBC reports that the Premier League has referred the club to an independent commission over alleged rule breaches.
City has denied wrongdoing and urged that the matter be reviewed by an independent commission to verify their “irrefutable evidence that exists in support of its position”.
“Manchester City is surprised by the issuing of these alleged breaches of the Premier League Rules, particularly given the extensive engagement and vast amount of detailed materials that the EPL has been provided with,” the club said in a statement.
“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,” the club added in its statement.
If found guilty of the breaches, the commission can impose several punishments on Manchester City, including points deduction, fines, rescinding of titles won during the period and even expulsion from the Premier League.
Multiple sources reported that under Premier League rules the club will not be able to appeal any sanction to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (which overturned the UEFA ban).
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola had already made his intention clear on the next step on action if the club is found guilty of breaking football governing bodies’ financial regulations.
“When they are accused of something I ask them: ‘Tell me about that: They explain and I believe them. I said to them: ‘If you lie to me, the day after I am not here. I will be out and I will not be your friend any more. ‘I put my faith in you because I believe you 100% from day one and I defend the club because of that,” the Spaniard said in an interview with The Guardian in May 2022.