Manchester City’s legal case against Premier League financial rules to begin on Monday

Manchester City’s legal case against the Premier League’s associated party transaction (APT) rules will begin on Monday, June 10.

City are suing the league in an attempt to have the rules — which they claim are unlawful — abolished in a two-week private arbitration hearing.

The Premier League’s APT rules were originally introduced in December 2021 in the wake of the Saudi-backed takeover of Newcastle United.

The regulations are in place to guard against clubs using sponsorship deals with companies linked to their owners to inflate revenue streams and allow more room for spending.

In February, Premier League clubs voted to toughen rules on associated party transactions.

As reported by The Athletic at the time of the vote, Premier League CEO Richard Masters said one club — believed to be City — had argued the rules could be in contravention of competition law and had threatened legal action. The league insisted they were fully compatible with the law.

According to The Times, City now argue that they are the victims of “discrimination” in a legal document justifying their case. City are also arguing the league’s democratic system of requiring at least 14 clubs, or two-thirds of those who vote, to implement rule changes should be abolished to guard against decisions being made by “the tyranny of the majority”.

The Times say that “between 10 and 12 clubs” have come forward offering their support for the Premier League’s defence against City’s case.

The Premier League declined to comment when contacted by The Athletic and Manchester City did not respond to a request for comment.

The new legal challenge will only add to the Premier League’s already stretched caseload.

City are due to answer 115 charges for breaching financial rules later this autumn in a trial that is set to take six weeks to conclude.

As well as being accused of failing to disclose accurate financial information and managerial remuneration details, City are also alleged to have breached the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules (PSR) during three seasons from 2015-16 to 2017-18.

City deny all allegations of wrongdoing.


How Manchester City’s 115 charges might play out: Exoneration? Settlement? Deductions? Worse?

(Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

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