Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Man City points deduction: Date set for Premier League trial with verdict to coincide with Guardiola exit

Pep Guardiola's Man City are facing a possible points penalty from the Premier League

Pep Guardiola's Man City are facing a possible points penalty from the Premier League

The Premier League have reportedly made contact with Manchester City to reveal when charges relating to their breaches of Financial Fair Play will be heard.

Pep Guardiola’s side have won the Premier League title in five of the last six seasons, including the last three in a row, though a dark shadow has loomed over that success ever since it came to light last year that Man City were being investigated for 115 different financial irregularities.

And with Everton deducted 10 points earlier this month following a near three-year probe into allegations the Toffees had breached profit and sustainability rules, speculation that City – as well as Chelsea, who are also under investigation for similar alleged offences dating back to the Roman Abramovich era – could be hit with significant punishments.

To that end, an explosive report claimed City could be hit with a cataclysmic points penalty, while a similar outcome for Chelsea, if found guilty, could even lead to their relegation from the Premier League.

Addressing such a scenario, football finance analyst Kieran Maguire, speaking to Football Insider, warned: “Relegation is a possible punishment.

“If you take a look at the Premier League handbook, there are unlimited punishments that they can hand out, including expulsion from the Premier League. So that is very much the nuclear option.

“Is it possible? Yes, but not probable – that is my reaction to it. But we could be looking at a very significant points reduction.

“We could easily end up with a 30-point deduction, which for Man City could still mean European qualification.”

That has all lead to rather uncomfortable reading for fans and officials at both Premier League giants.

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Prem name date for Man City trial over FFP breaches

Now, according to the Daily Mail’s Mike Keegan, the Premier League has been in touch with City to inform them that a trial for the 115 counts against them will be heard in late autumn 2024, just under a year from now.

The trial will be the biggest of its kind in world football and could also result in the biggest punishments ever witnessed in the game if City are found guilty of a number of those breaches.

The charges, were first made known to City in February of this year, come as a result of a four-year investigation into the operations at the Etihad Stadium.

And for those wondering why the hearing will not take place until another year from now, that is to simply allow those in charge of, and overseeing the investigation, to gather more time and evidence ahead of the hearing.

Of course, there are two sides to every story and the extended wait also will present City themselves with a chance to work on their defence.

In a club statement earlier this year when details of the probe were made public, City insisted they were they not only “surprised” by the charges, but were also supported by a “body of irrefutable evidence”.

The news of the forthcoming probe will no doubt delight Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville, who recently challenged the Premier League by accusing them of “running scared” of Man City.

Punishment could coincide with Pep Guardiola departure

However, the results of the probe are not likely to come to light quickly or any time soon after the hearing takes place, it has also been warned.

To that end, Keegan claims the results of next autumn’s hearing, and potential punishments around that, will not be decided upon until the end of the 2024/25 season.

As a result, any points punishment could even come into affect for the start of the 2025/26 season, with the possibility – if found guilty – of City starting the campaign on a negative points tally.

The date that the possible punishment is known also coincides with the end of Guardiola’s contract at the Etihad, which is currently due to expire in summer 2025.

As things stand, Guardiola is currently not in talks over an extension to that arrangement and, by widespread accounts, is expected to depart the City job when that date arrives.

Guardiola has also spoken about he would consider his future at the club should the heaviest of punishments be meted out, though he has been quick to stress that he understands City’s alleged breach to be “completely different” from Everton’s.

“I spoke with my people – [they] said it is completely different,” Guardiola said last week.

“OK – [our] one is longer because it is more complicated because it’s 115 breaches. So wait.

“Then the lawyers from both sides present their cases in front of the judge and [we receive] the verdict.”

Guardiola cagey on possible City exit

When asked whether expulsion from the Premier League would see him quit the Etihad, Guardiola was not making any knee-jerk reactions.

“I will wait. Wait and see it, and after the sentence has been done we will come here and explain it,” he said.

“But absolutely I will not consider my future [if] it depends being here or being in League One.

“Absolutely. There is more chance to stay if we are in League One than if we win the Champions League.

“I know when people are saying – ‘OK, City – why don’t they go to the [National League]?’ Wait. After [the decision is made] what’s going to happen is going to happen.

“What people accuse us of, we do not agree with what they say. We are going to defend [ourselves] and after the resolution is done I will be here, like a spokesman for my club.”

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