The Premier League charged Man City with numerous alleged breaches of financial rules back in February
The fallout from Everton being docked 10 points after being found guilty of breaching the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules continues.
The punishment was imposed by an independent commission after a disciplinary hearing took place last month. Everton, however, will appeal against the penalty, believing it to be a ‘wholly disproportionate and unjust sporting sanction’.
The appeal must be heard and concluded before the end of the season, but if it fails the Goodison Park club is also facing legal claims for compensation from rivals who were relegated from the Premier League during the period from 2019 to 2022 in which Everton were found to have broken the rules.
However, no sooner had the news dropped that Everton had been docked 10 points, thoughts quickly turned to Manchester City. It was revealed back in February that the Etihad club had been charged by the Premier League with more than 100 breaches of its financial rules following a four-year investigation.
“In accordance with Premier League Rule W.82.1, the Premier League confirms that it has today referred a number of alleged breaches of the Premier League Rules by Manchester City Football Club (Club) to a Commission under Premier League Rule W.3.4,” a Premier League statement read.
The statement then went on to list said breaches with five separate points made on the rulings, before adding: “Commissions are independent of the Premier League and member clubs. The members of the Commission will be appointed by the independent Chair of the Premier League Judicial Panel in accordance with Premier League Rules W.19, W.20 and W.26.
“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. This confirmation is made in accordance with Premier League Rule W.82.1. The Premier League will be making no further comment in respect of this matter until further notice.”
Liverpool have been in a recent rivalry with Pep Guardiola’s side, with the two sides battling it out for the title on five occasions during the last 10 years. And that has led to questions about whether City will be stripped of the four titles they have won in that time.
However, following confirmation of the charges, City said they were ‘surprised’ by the allegations in a club statement and welcomed the opportunity to defend themselves with ‘irrefutable evidence’. And while speculation rages in the aftermath of Everton’s punishment with regards to what City could face, it shouldn’t be forgotten that City must be first found guilty of their own charges.
Just days after the Premier League statement, Guardiola faced the media, and he didn’t hold back.
He said: “My first thought is that we are already being condemned. What has happened this week after Monday is the same as what happened with [the] UEFA [case, in which Man City had a two-year ban from European football overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport]. With UEFA we were condemned. We had already accusations, now we have just charges.
“Why should in that situation, when they told me before they defend the accusation from UEFA, the club proved we were completely innocent, why should we not think right now when we are being condemned from charges and suggestions?
“You have to understand that between 19 teams of the Premier League is accusing us without the latest opportunity to defend and the words of my chairman, my CEO, my people explain everything during these three or four years, you know exactly on what side I am.”
Before he added: “Another side I would say we are lucky we live in a marvellous country where we have a society where everyone is innocent until proven guilty. We didn’t have this opportunity. We are already sentenced and tough. What is going to happen I don’t know.
“Personally, I am happy we are here. Like UEFA, it happens, we have the chance to defend. I think we have good lawyers, but we can’t say UEFA had bad, bad lawyers. I think the Premier League, supported by 19 teams to put it out for the Premier League, will have good lawyers too to defend their position like we’re going to defend our position. I would have loved to wait and see and time will dictate what’s going to happen.
“Just in case we are not innocent we will accept what the judge in the Premier League decides, but what happens if in the same situation that UEFA happened we are innocent, what happens to restore or pay back our damage?
“Because the damage is now for one decade, eight, nine, 10. One week later, UEFA make a statement against us, nine teams – Burnley, Wolves, Leicester, Newcastle, Spurs, Arsenal, United, Liverpool, Chelsea – [write a letter wanting us] out of the Champions League, that they wanted that position.
“Like Julius Caesar, they are not in this world, they are not enemies or friends, just interests. They wanted to put it out to take that position that we won on the pitch, take it in our position. Now it is not different in that moment, absolutely zero.
“The same articles, the same accusations, the same everything. We have to be out of the Champions League, now we have to go to League Two or maybe the Conference. We are not a team with a long history or titles, we have been in the lower divisions, and we will be back there. It’s not a problem just in case. We’ll get Paul Dickov and Mike Summerbee and we will do a good process and will be back, I’m pretty sure. But they should wait because at the end, the Premier League decide we’re going to defend ourselves as we did in the UEFA situation.”