Manchester City Football Club is facing an investigation into its finances by England’s Premier League, risking a points deduction that could dash its chances at the title and see it miss out on qualifying for Europe’s lucrative Champions League.
A commission set up by the world’s largest football league will investigate alleged financial breaches by Manchester City dating back to 2009, shortly after it was taken over by a group of companies linked to Abu Dhabi, according to a website statement.
The alleged breaches apply to four different sets of rules including those relating to the reporting of its finances, as well as the disclosure of a manager’s salary. The club is also accused of breaking rules around cooperating with the Premier League in its investigations from 2018 to the present day.
Under Premier League rules the club could be deducted points, suspended, or in an extreme case expelled. The commission is independent of the Premier League and its clubs, and the proceedings will be held in private.
Manchester City, which has won the Premier League four times over the past five years, made a statement via its website saying the club is “surprised” by the allegation of the alleged breaches of the Premier League Rules.
“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,” it said. “As such we look forward to this matter being put to rest once and for all.”
Manchester City has become one of the world’s largest football clubs, taking the top spot in Deloitte’s league table of the largest European football clubs for the second year running, ahead of illustrious rivals such as Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Two years ago, Manchester City was banned from the Champions League for two seasons by UEFA after they were found to have misled Europe’s governing body and had broken its financial fair plays rules. But the ban was later overturned after an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
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