Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Man City FFP: Staggering claims of relegation grow if ‘super serious’ 115 charges are proven

Pep Guardiola and Manchester City could be relegated over their FFP charges if found guilty

Pep Guardiola and Manchester City could be relegated over their FFP charges if found guilty

Manchester City have been warned that the 115 charges they face for alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play will absolutely result in their relegation from the Premier League if found guilty, the club’s former  financial adviser Stefan Borson has staggeringly admitted.

Pep Guardiola’s side were crowned champions on the final day of the season, winning the title for the fourth successive season and the sixth time in seven years. Furthermore, City have got their hands on 15 major honours since the Spaniard was announced as the Manchester City boss back in summer 2016 – easily the most successful period in the club’s history.

However, there is a dark cloud now hovering over their success, with the club charged in February 2023 with over 100 breaches of the Premier League’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations dating back to 2009.

And while the likes of Everton and Nottingham Forest have since been charged and had points docked in the Premier League this season, City’s case is that bit more complicated, given both the historial factors and the sheer amount of charges involved.

To that end, any verdict on both a punishment is not estimated to arrive until spring 2025, by which time the Premier League hopes to have concluded their extremely lengthy and compex investigation.

GO DEEPER 👉 Man City FFP: Liverpool icon trolls Guardiola as Gary Neville points to ‘huge shadow’ over club

City have continually protested their innocence, claiming they are confident of beating those charges, though generally keeping a dignified silence as they look to build up their defensive case.

However, a shock report on Tuesday revealed City are ready to launch their own case against the Premier League over the charges hanging over the club.

Man City handed huge Premier League relegation warning

Such a notion would change the game in England forever, with the north-west giants looking to alter the Premier League’s Associated Party Transaction (ATP) rules, which regard commercial and sponsorship deals with companies owned or associated with the same club’s owners.

Speculation over the sort of punishment City will face has raged for months, ranging from a stripping of their titles, a serious points punishment, to relegation down the leagues.

Now their former financial advisor Borson insists that if the charges are proven it “will end in at least relegation” for the Cityzens.

Borson told talkSPORT: “The scale is on a completely different level [to Everton and Nottingham Forest].

“There can be no question that, if these charges are proven, this will end in at least relegation. There is the suggestion of conspiracy over, effectively, a ten-year period.

DEEP DIVE 👉 Every Premier League manager’s contract expiry date as Chelsea give Enzo Maresca lengthy deal

“If proven, this is super serious. Nobody would argue with that. City will say, I promise you, that this is an allegation of the most serious nature.”

“It seems to me to be highly unlikely that the conduct is alleged has taken place over a ten-year period with the sorts of individuals that are involved in the club and in the companies that are involved.

“It will be a very big call for any court or tribunal to suggest that this number of people have been dishonest, and perjured themselves.

“That would be a massive call for, effectively, some KCs and maybe a former finance director of a football club, to make against not just Manchester City, but against numerous executives, against third party individuals, and against, of course, potentially senior members of foreign states.”

Man City FFP: Sky Sports man drops bombshell over latest development

Either way, Premier League chairman Richard Masters, speaking in April, believes the case against City will “resolve itself in the near future”.

He continued: “It’s not for the football authorities to start being selective about who they would like to win the league.

“The key point is that you’ve got that jeopardy until the final day. Who knows where we will be on May 19?”

Masters, speaking at the European Leagues general assembly, added: “Obviously we can’t comment on the case, the date has been set and the case will resolve itself at some point in the near future, and I cannot make any further comment on it.”

Meanwhile, Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol reacted to the news that City are to bring their own  charges agaist the Premier League, which could change the face of the game in this country.

He said: “What is being reported is unprecedented. We’ve got a situation where a Premier League club, Manchester City, the champions of the Premier League, are basically suing the Premier League.

“What City are going to argue at this arbitration hearing, which will start on Monday, is that some of the league’s financial rules are unlawful and they are incompatible with UK competition law. The rules they are talking about are the Associated Party Transaction rules.

“These were brought in in 2021 and they are designed to make sure that if a club signs a commercial deal with a company that is linked to its owners that it has to be a fair value, and that is checked to make sure that it is of fair value.

“So, if you are the owner of a Premier League club and you have another company, say an airline or an energy company, and you want to get that company to sponsor your club – because that is a good way of bringing revenue into your club – that deal has to be checked by independent auditors to make sure it is of fair value.

“You cannot just make up a number and say the deal is worth £100m, £200m or £300m as a way of bringing money into your club. It has to be of fair value.

“But City are going to argue that these rules are unlawful and obviously, this could have big, serious ramifications for the future competitive balance of the Premier League.”