Manchester City have been accused of more than 100 separate financial fair play breaches in an unprecedented move by the Premier League following a four-year investigation that was delayed on several occasions by legal challenges.
The Premier League have confirmed that they have found reigning champions guilty of a host of breaches to financial fair play regulations after a four-year investigation.
A statement from the league said alleged breaches were committed across nine different seasons beginning in 2009/10 and will now be referred to an independent commission.
Should the commission find City guilty of the breaches they could face a potential range of sanctions including a points deduction.
In a lengthy statement, the Premier League listed out the rules the reigning champions are alleged to have breached with the total in three figures – though many of those are the same regulations repeatedly broken in consecutive seasons.
The statement said: “In accordance with Premier League 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 to a Commission.”
The Premier League investigation was opened in March 2019 following leaked documents in relation to City’s financial activities being published by the German outlet Der Spiegel.
UEFA banned the club from the Champions League for two seasons in February 2020 because of what the governing body claimed was evidence of City “overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts … between 2012 and 2016” – only for the Court of Arbitration for Sport to overturn their decision upon appeal. City also had a €30m fine reduced to €10m.
City have continuously and vehemently denied any wrongdoing and previously described leaked emails linked to the Premier League investigation as taken “out of context” and an “attempt to damage the club’s reputation is organised and clear.”
Last November City announced that they had recorded profits of £41.7m and that their commercial takings were worth £309.4m – a 14 per cent year-on-year increase – after announcing more than a dozen new sponsorship deals.
Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak then used the publication of those financial results to provide rivals with an ominous warning. City, he said, would now “define new and unprecedented goals” as they “recognise the fundamental truth that continuously delivering football success for our fans will also continue to create value for our shareholders.”
Owing to the scale of accusations facing City, a final decision from the commission could take some time.
The Premier League statement added: “Commissions are independent of the Premier League and member clubs. The members of the Commission will be appointed by the independent Chair of the Premier League Judicial Panel, in accordance with Premier League Rules W.19, W.20 and W.26.
“The proceedings before the Commission will, in accordance with Premier League Rule W.82, be confidential and heard in private. Under Premier League Rule W.82.2, the Commission’s final award will be published on the Premier League’s website.
“This confirmation is made in accordance with Premier League Rule W.82.1. The Premier League will be making no further comment in respect of this matter until further notice.”