On Monday, the English Premier League accused Sheik Mansour’s Manchester City F.C. of violating financial rules, mainly its sponsorship revenue and operating costs, over multiple seasons.
The club has failed to give “a true and fair view of the club’s financial position,” failed to include full details of “manager and player remuneration,” failed to comply with “UEFA’s financial fair play regulations,” and failed to “cooperate in Premier League’s investigation,” according to the statement released by the league.
In response to these accusations, the EPL has created an independent commission to investigate the alleged breaches that occurred from the 2009-10 season to the 2017-18 season. If the commission finds the club guilty, the six-time Premier League champions can face various punishments, including docking points and suspending the team from competition. The proceedings before the commission will be confidential and heard in private. The league did not respond to Sportico‘s request for comment.
“Manchester City F.C. 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 said in a statement.
Manchester City was sold to the Abu Dhabi United Group’s owner Sheik Mansour in 2008. Since the acquisition, the 143-year-old club has won five EPL titles and two FA Cups. The team reached the final of UEFA’s Champions League tournament for the first time in its history in 2020-2021 but lost the big prize to Chelsea.
Last November, the club, which Sportico recently valued at $4.43 billion, announced revenue of $870 million. City’s biggest source of income was its commercial revenue, which was $412 million (£310 million) for 2022. That’s almost four times the commercial revenue of the club for the year ending in May 2009—£87 million ($104 million)—a year after Sheik Mansour’s takeover.
This is not the first time the club has been under investigation over compliance with financial regulations. In 2020, UEFA banned Manchester City from the Champions League, its top competition, for two years, for overstating sponsorship revenue and break-even information in accounts submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016. However, the club appealed the decision and overturned the ban.