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Manchester City Files Legal Action Against Premier League Over Financial Regulations

Posted : 05 June 2024

Manchester City has initiated legal proceedings against the Premier League. The club is contesting the Premier League's Associated Party Transaction (APT) rules, claiming they are unlawful. A private arbitration hearing is scheduled to commence next week.


City's legal challenge includes allegations of "discrimination against Gulf ownership" and a demand for damages, as initially reported by The Times. Since 2008, Manchester City has been owned by the Abu Dhabi United Group. The APT rules, introduced in 2021 following Newcastle United's Saudi-backed takeover, were tightened in February to regulate sponsorship deals linked to club owners more stringently.


During a February meeting, all 20 Premier League clubs were informed that one club had threatened legal action in response to the updated APT rules. Manchester City, with sponsorship deals like those with Etihad Airways, argues that sponsors should determine their payment amounts without needing independent verification for fair market value. City contends that these rules violate competition law.


In addition to this legal action, City is preparing to defend itself against allegations of breaching Premier League financial rules. The club faces 115 charges from a four-year investigation announced in February 2023.


The hearing is set to begin in November, and if found guilty, City could face penalties ranging from fines to points deductions or even expulsion from the Premier League. The club has consistently maintained its innocence, claiming it will present "a body of irrefutable evidence" in its defense.


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