By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 07 February 2023 • 8:00
Roberto Mancini (Past Manchester City manager) - Image Sbonsi / Shutterstock.com
The four-year probe of the club found numerous transgressions that range from hiding sources of income to only partly declaring the manager’s and player´s salaries.
They are also accused of obstructing the investigation, an allegation they strongly deny.
City are said to be furious over the issue and insisted they would be vindicated after Chief Executive Ferran Soriano was informed by phone of the charges, at the same time they were made public.
Rival clubs vying for honours are believed to be calling for swift punishment including the club´s relegation, with one telling the Sun: “If these charges are proven there must be proper punishment – and the only fitting one is for them to be relegated.
“We’re talking about a decade of alleged abuses and want the Premier League to do the right thing.”
The charges relate to the era in which Roberto Mancini was the boss, with his salary being one of the main charges. It is said that he was paid through two separate sets of books, his official salary of £1.45m through the club and a further £1.75m through Sheikh Mansour’s Abu Dhabi club, Al Jazira.
Much of the sponsorship they claim to have raised is also said to have come from the club’s owners, while full player wages are said to have not been disclosed.
Manchester City has said: “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.”
The club are said to believe they will be cleared and have told the Sun privately that the decision was forced upon the league by the government, who is to set up a regulator for the sport.
City has been given until February 23 to respond to the charges, which will then be reviewed by the three-member commission that is to be appointed by leading KC Murray Rosen, head of the League’s Judicial Panel.
“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.”
The Premier League is understood to have opened an investigation into the allegations in March 2019 according to Sky News on Monday, February 6.
The allegations are said to relate to the breaking of UEFA´s rules on manager and player remuneration and revenue declarations, as well as profitability and sustainability and cooperation with Premier League investigations.
An independent commission is carrying out the investigation that is looking into the period from the 2009/10 season through until the 2017/18 season.
UEFA rules require that clubs declare “in utmost good faith “accurate financial information that gives a true and fair view of the club’s financial position.” This includes revenue from sponsorships as well as general operating costs and it is these declarations that are said to form the basis of the investigation.
The second set of charges relates to the remuneration of the team manager and is said to involve the period during which Roberto Mancini was in charge. Those charges also cover player remuneration during the same period.
The final allegation is that Manchester City broke UEFA´s financial fair play regulations between 2013/14 and 2017/18. That resulted in the club being suspended from European football in 2020 but was subsequently overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The final allegations relate to transgressions of the Premier League’s profitability and sustainability rules from 2015/16 to 2017/18 and the failure to cooperate with the investigation since 2018.
If Manchester City is found guilty by the Premier League of the charges of breaking financial rules, the club is likely to face significant sanctions that could see the club fined, docked points or even relegated as was the case with Glasgow Rangers.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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