Manchester City, a top-tier soccer club that has won English Premier League titles in the past two seasons and six times since 2010, faces harsh punishment after an investigation revealed the club allegedly committed a series of financial violations.
The Premier League issued a lengthy statement on Monday detailing a list of some 80 alleged breaches of financial rules by the club between 2009 and 2018. It marked the first nine full seasons that an Abu Dhabi-backed group has taken over the club. In that time, Manchester City won three Premier League titles. The club was also charged with 30 other offenses related to its failure to cooperate with the investigation.
The Premier League has fair play financial rules designed to ensure that clubs essentially spend what they earned from deals that are assessed to have legitimate market value.
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Revelations from the investigation could lead to a fine or worse punishment such as a points deduction, the revocation of a title or even expulsion from the league itself, depending on Premier League rules.
Manchester City is five points behind Arsenal for first place in the Premier League and just three points above Manchester United for second place.
«Manchester City FC is surprised by the issuance of these alleged breaches of the Premier League Rules, particularly given the extensive commitment and wealth of detailed materials that have been provided to the EPL,» the club said in a statement. .
«The Club welcomes the review of this matter by an independent commission, to impartially consider the full body of irrefutable evidence that exists in support of its position.
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«As such, we hope this matter is settled once and for all.»
The violations were referred to an independent commission, which will be made up of three judges appointed by an attorney who chairs the league’s judicial panel. The commission hearing will be held in secret and there is no timetable for a verdict.
Manchester City never disputed the documents that were leaked to Der Spiegel in 2018, prompting the investigation.
The club is accused of breaching rules that require a «good faith» provision of «accurate financial information that gives a true and fair view of the club’s financial position» between 2009 and 2018 and of failing to provide «full details of manager’s remuneration in their relevant contracts» of 2009-13.
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The club also faces accusations of breaching UEFA rules between 2013 and 2018 and the Premier League’s profitability and sustainability rules between 2015 and 2018.
Associated Press contributed to this report.