Manchester City: Financial Fair Play Allegations


Credit: PA Images

Josh Perez, Cub News Writer

Earlier this month, Manchester City was charged with numerous Financial Fair Play (FFP) allegations by the Premier League. FFP makes sure teams spend what they earn, which it seems Manchester City may have failed to do. These charges span over the course of nine seasons, going all the way back to 2009. A private commission is said to be held which will review all of the facts, and if found guilty City could be handed severe punishments. 

City has been charged with FFP fraud, but it is not the first time as they were previously charged with breaking the rules. They were also charged in 2020 for inflating sponsorships, and disguising equity funding as sponsorship contributions. This charge led to them being banned for two years from the UEFA Champions League, a very prestigious international tournament, and handed a 30 million pound fine. The charge was later overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport as they ruled that City did not break any of the FFP rules that were described. This led to City being unbanned from the tournament and only having to pay 10 million for a failure to cooperate.

This leads to 2023, as City have been charged again for FFP breaches. This time, however, the Premier League are charging them for numerous accounts that spread from 2009 to 2018. FFP keeps bigger teams in check by making sure that teams spend what they earn, and teams can try to get around this by inflating their earnings or hiding spending. City have been charged with overspending and fraud since their financial takeover in 2008. This is very significant for City as they have won the Premier League three times during the alleged period. 

The Premier League has not confirmed anything, but possible punishments could include point deductions, large fines, transfer bans, or expulsion from the league, meaning they could be relegated to a lower division. If that is the case, many teams would hope to poach big-name players from City who would not want to play in the lower leagues.

City have responded to these allegations ‘surprised’ and that they are welcoming the investigations after claiming they have nothing to hide from the league. Manchester City’s manager, Pep Guardiola, has been asked about his future at the club after these allegations. He has said that he has asked the club about the allegations and will believe and defend them. In an interview, Guardiola explained that he told City “If you (Manchester City) lie to me, the day after I am not here. I will be out and I will not be your friend anymore.”