August 20, 2022

The long-running investigation could finally be reaching an end

A lengthy Premier League investigation into Manchester City’s finances, triggered by allegations the club breached FFP regulations, is reportedly reaching its final stage.

The Daily Mail say the Premier League have appointed ‘subject matter experts’, which suggests the three-year inquiry could soon be brought to a close. The report explains that, according to a Premier League legal expert, ‘subject matter experts’ are usually appointed ahead of a charge.

Though there is no confirmation from either City or the Premier League that any charge has been made, the development has been interpreted as a sign the case could be set to reach a conclusion.

Investigation triggered by leaked emails publications

The investigation stems from Der Spiegel’s publication of leaked emails in November 2018. The emails, obtained by Portuguese hacker, Rui Pinto, appeared to reveal a scheme in which City’s sponsorship revenue had been artificially inflated and some staffing costs were hidden in a bid to circumvent Uefa’s FFP regulations.

City insisted the leaked emails were taken ‘out of context’, ‘purportedly hacked or stolen’ and an ‘attempt to damage the club’s reputation’.

premier league man city ffp

City had European ban overturned by CAS

Uefa and the Premier League opened investigations into the allegations, with the European governing body formally charging City with a breach of rules in 2019.

As a result, City were banned from European competition for two years after a hearing in February 2020, but this was overturned at a the Court of Arbitration for Sport later that year.

The ban was overturned because much of the evidence fell outside of a Uefa five-year time limit. The Premier League’s FFP rules, however, are not restricted by a five-year statute.

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City have been made to provide documents by a Commercial Court ruling, but have challenged the Premier League’s right to investigate them and their duty to release documents.

Normally, as pointed out by the Mail, such cases normally end up in civil courts and are public. However, the case ended up in the High Court in July of last year because both parties wanted the details to remain private.

The Premier League and City maintain they will only comment on the case once it has been concluded.

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