Premier League Corruption

Kaylee Donnelly, Senior Writer

This past week, Premier League soccer club, Manchester City, was accused of breaking the league’s financial fair play rules over 100 times between the 2009-2010 and 2018-2019 seasons. The Premier League’s financial fair play rules were created in order to regulate club spending, and to ensure that clubs were generally spending what they were making. Manchester City, in falsely reporting their financial statements, are in extreme violation of this contract. 

According to Premier League rules, a club is required to provide accurate financial information to the league that reflects an honest deception of the club’s financial position. Manchester City was accused of failing to include full details of player and management salaries, failing to comply with financial play rules and failing to cooperate with the league regarding any investigations. If these accusations are proven, it could be one of the worst offenses committed by a club in Premier League history. 

It’s especially serious given the club’s success over the past decade. Their club was taken over in 2008 by Abu Dhabi-based City Football Group one year prior to when the accusations timeline began. Since their takeover, Manchester City has won six Premier League titles, two FA Cup titles and five League Cup trophies. The team was practically reshaped by this purchase. The value of the club now sits at approximately one billion pounds.

This isn’t the first time City has been accused of financial wrongdoing either. In February of 2020, they were banned from the Champions League by UEFA after breaking the financial rules of the competition and not properly reporting to the European governing bodies. These allegations were denied by Manchester City, who went to the Court of Arbitration for sport and got the ruling overturned. 

These new accusations might not blow over as smoothly as before. One of the accusations states that Manchester City Football Club has been lying about the club’s funding and the financial compensation received from sponsorship deals, inflating the numbers coming in from Abu Dhabi companies. Another accusation states that a previous manager of Manchester City, Roberto Mancini, had been a recipient of a second salary, along with several other players potentially receiving more than was recorded.  

Manchester City issued a statement shortly after expressing their surprise at the allegations, and stated that they frequently engage with the league and provide detailed materials of their finances. They welcomed an independent commission to come in and investigate and accused the Premier League themselves of investigating the club based on “illegal hacking” and “out of context publication of club emails.”

Despite this, the accusations still do not look good for the club. Manchester City will not be off to a good start in this new investigation. 

If found guilty by the commission, the punishments to the club can vary. It contains a variety of sanctions, including fines, point deductions or at worst, relegation from the Premier League. As one of the Premier League’s most valued and high performing clubs, it’s highly doubtful that Manchester City will be relegated this season, although it’s not impossible. 

As of right now, Manchester City currently sits at number two in the league standings, with a record of 14-3-4 and a clear path towards the Champions League. Point deductions and relegation are arguably the worst outcome for the club, so Manchester City fans will have to hope that the club was being honest, as the fate of the club’s success for their 2022-2023 season could now sit in the hands of the Premier League and the commission’s investigation.

(Visited 724 times, 1 visits today)