Manchester City appear to be in a legal bind

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If all you have left is schadenfreude in your fan interests, which generally works throughout the Premier League midfield, Manchester City have been your best friend over the past two days. First came a surprisingly lackluster 1-0 defeat at their Stadium of Horrors Tottenham Hotspur by Spurs, then today came the news that The Premier League charges them with a financial violation in a period of almost 10 years. And yes, this is what UEFA tried to get City to do a few years ago, but failed.

in Premier League statement, there’s a lot of legalese and references to various Premier League rules, but it’s not all that different from what UEFA accused them of and originally handed them a two-year ban from European competitions. In fact, the Premier League investigation stems from The same Mirror omissions who overheard UEFA.

Basically, in the early stages of Abu Dhabi’s ownership of the club, they miscalculated how much money the club was making and spending to stay within the rules. And they tried to obscure the investigation about that. City argued that sponsoring the club equalized their spending, except that City also owned the company that sponsored them. They were essentially transferring money from one pocket to another and calling it income. This time there is also the charge of the club pay the manager under the table to hide expenditures from their official books among other things.

I can’t do the same gag

When City were banned from European competition for two years, they appealed their case to the CAS, and the CAS sided with them mainly on statute of limitations grounds. The offenses City allegedly committed at the time were too far in the past to be penalized by UEFA, according to UEFA rules. It wasn’t about what City actually did or didn’t do, although they certainly treated it as forgiveness.

It won’t work this time. Premier League rules have no statute of limitations. And this time, City cannot appeal to CAS or anyone else. Whenever and whatever commission is formed to hear the case, their decision is the final word. City can still appeal, this time to a special appeals committee set up by the Premier League’s judicial committee, but it would be hard to believe that a group made up of the same group would find things differently than the first, rather than a completely independent judicial system.

But don’t expect anything anytime soon, and don’t expect it to affect anything this season. This was a four-year investigation, so a verdict on it won’t happen for a few weeks. And until there is a decision or verdict, we won’t hear much. Everything is behind closed doors. The idea that it could all be finished by the end of May, with City getting enough time to form a defense, is not really that feasible. So for all you Arsenal fans out there, it’s unlikely that their main challengers will have a banana peel thrown in front of them.

What will the hammers be?

For most fans, they just want to rush to the end and realize what kind of penalties City could face. The idea that they could be relegated from the Premier League is fantastic. While the refereeing board may not use Serie A as a precedent, it’s about the only thing we have to follow. Something like this has never happened in the Premier League. When Juventus was relegated to Serie B (originally Serie C) in 2006 in Calciopoli scandal, it was because of the influence on the actual matches. Regardless of your opinion of City and bookkeeping nonsense, match-fixing and financial doping of your club are not on the same level. You can make a connection if you want, but it takes some work. Other clubs further down the food chain, such as Leeds or Derby County in the past, were anchor points for going into administration (bankruptcy). That’s what seems likely here.

Juve’s latest deduction of 15 points is more in line with what City have been accused of, which is cooking the books to make the club look more profitable than it is. That’s the most likely route, and he’s more likely to start next season than sticking to this current one. A transfer ban could also come into play, which would be a real blow to City’s plans.

If no penalties are imposed for this season, it’s still quite easy to imagine City overcoming the 15-point penalty to not only survive, but return to the Champions League next season. But without the ability to bring in new players, they could struggle. However, given the club’s financial power, it seems that any setback to their ambitions would only be temporary. City have actually been close to net neutrality in the transfer market for the last few years, and their continued success has earned them a place at the top of the table when it comes to global attention and devotion. Their last year’s income of 743 million dollars makes them actually the richest club in the world. How much of that is sponsored by their owners is an intricate web, but numbers are numbers. They may miss the Champions League for one season, but at some point they will be able to legally find transfers and develop from it.

They may find a way out of this too, and in the long run it is unlikely that it will derail them too much. But for anyone who isn’t a City fan, it’s a day worth a laugh or two.

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