British soccer club Manchester City has been charged by the Premier League for breaking several financial rules over the past nine seasons. The alleged breaches are said to have occurred from 2009 until 2018. City has denied the claims, calling the allegations “shocking”. The investigation, which was opened in 2019, found that City had broken over 100 of the league's rules requiring the club to provide “accurate financial information that gives a true and fair view of the club’s financial position”. During the time of the alleged rule-breaking, City had won the Premier League title three times.
Leaked documents appeared to show that City had been inflating the value of sponsorship deals from companies in Abu Dhabi, as well as channeling money from the country to themselves. The documents also suggested that the manager of the club, Roberto Mancini, had been taking a second, secret salary during his time at the club that the league was unaware of. The league has also claimed that the club had failed in its responsibility to provide full details of how much the players and managers were getting paid. It was further alleged that, over the course of the investigation, City had not only refused to cooperate or assist with the process but also actively attempted to slow or halt the investigation altogether.
In a response to these allegations, City issued a statement saying that "Manchester City FC 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 welcomes the review of this matter by an independent Commission, to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence that exists in support of its position. As such, we look forward to this matter being put to rest once and for all.” It comes as no surprise that City wants to move past the situation, because, if proven true, these allegations would be the greatest offenses committed by a club in the league’s 31-year history; harboring a punishment of suspension, point deduction, or possibly expulsion from the league.
In my opinion, should these allegations be proven, Man City should be punished to the fullest extent. A club worth $4.43 Billion should have no reason to hide extra money just so that the owners and their friends can line their pockets with money that isn’t theirs. The worst part is that the people who are most affected by the charges aren’t the executives making the calls, but rather the players who might have to sit out games they know that they could play and win, and the fans, who have to watch the team that they love go downhill. Luckily, we still don’t know if the charges are true; so stay tuned with The GOAT to find out the club’s fate.