Manchester City could be expelled from the Premier League after they were charged with over 100 alleged breaches of financial rules.
Other possible punishments for the club include points deduction, transfer bans, spending limits and even stripping them of previous titles.
The investigation into City’s dealings has lasted for up to four years. And now the Premier League have published their findings on their website and it does not look good for the club, who said they were “surprised” in a defiant statement.
At this stage City have been charged but have not been found guilty. But they would not be able to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport if the ruling goes against them.
The charges are related to breaching regulations over nine seasons between 2009 and 2018, with the investigation starting in December 2018.
That was prompted after the publishing of leaked documents by German website Der Spiegel – with the investigation focusing on three areas.
The first issue is “under-age players were pressured to sign contracts with City through monetary payments”.
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Secondly, that Abu Dhabi sponsors “provided only a portion of their payments to the club”, with owner Sheikh Mansour paying the rest, in turn overstating the sponsorship income.
Lastly, former manager Roberto Mancini received a “significant portion” of compensation from a “fictitious consultancy contract” through a secret consultancy contract with Emirati club Al Jazira.
It is also reported by the Premier League in their findings that City did not comply with Uefa regulations surrounding club licensing and financial fair play in 2013-14 and between the 2014-15 and 2017-18 season.
The Premier League also accused Man City of failing to cooperate and assist with the investigation. And Uefa previously slapped the club with a two-year ban and fined them £25m in February 2020 for alleged financial fair play breaches.
But, just five months later, that was overturned and the fine was eventually cut to £9m by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Now the findings of the Premier League investigation and a number of alleged breaches have now been referred to a commission.
The Premier League added: “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.”
City said in response to the allegations: “Manchester City FC 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 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.”