Manchester City to challenge EPL’s financial rules

Photo credit: Manchester City FC FB

LONDON, June 5: A legal challenge by Manchester City against the English Premier League rules will be heard next week.

The Times newspaper reports that an arbitration hearing will start on Monday over a claim made by EPL champions Manchester City against the top flight’s associated party transaction (APT) regulations.

The APTs are designed to ensure that all deals between a club and entities linked to that club’s owners are done at fair market value.

The Times reports that a 165-page claim was issued by lawyers representing Manchester City.

If the action is successful, the Times says it could assist Manchester City in the defence of their case against 115 Premier League charges laid in February 2023, because some of the charges relate to alleged attempts to disguise owner funding as sponsorship in breach of league rules. Manchester City denies any wrongdoing.

The EPL declined to comment on the matter. Manchester City have not yet responded to a request for comment when contacted by the PA news agency on Tuesday.

PA understands clubs were told at a league shareholders’ meeting in February about a threat of legal action by one club – at the time reported to be Manchester City – against the APTs. That did not stop a majority of clubs voting to strengthen those rules at that meeting.

The Times reports that the other 19 EPL clubs have been asked to join it in defence of its case against Manchester City.

According to the Times article, Manchester City’s lawyers argue the club is the victim of “discrimination against Gulf ownership” and that the rules make it subject to a “tyranny of the majority.” Manchester City is owned by Sheikh Mansour, the deputy prime minister of Abu Dhabi.