City may lose 2014 EPL title

Manchester City fans may have more to be mad about if the Premier League enforces sanctions on the club over their misdemeanours. PHOTO: REUTERS
Manchester City fans may have more to be mad about if the Premier League enforces sanctions on the club over their misdemeanours.PHOTO: REUTERS

Liverpool could benefit if City found to have broken rules relating to European ban, fine

LONDON • Manchester City could be stripped of their 2014 Premier League title as the fallout of their breach of financial rules continues.

Uefa announced a two-season ban from continental competition on Friday and also imposed a fine of €30 million (S$45.3 million) on the English champions.

The Premier League announced last March that it had started its own separate investigation into City's affairs. And if charged, Premier League rules stipulate that points could be deducted retrospectively, which would affect City's positions in the seasons affected, reported the Daily Mail.

It is understood that the period under investigation is from 2012 to 2016 - the same timeframe Uefa's Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) says that City overstated their sponsorship income - but this has not been confirmed by the Premier League, which has not provided any comment.

This would cover City's 2014 Premier League title victory although it remains unclear if this would also cover their 2012 win.

City finished on 86 points in 2014 - two more than Liverpool. Two seasons before that, City won the league on goal difference over neighbours Manchester United with both on 89 points.

Premier League rules are less strict than Uefa's, allowing losses of £105 million (S$190.8 million) over three seasons. Under Uefa rules, clubs are not permitted to lose more than €30 million, with exceptions for costs such as youth development and women's teams over a three-year period.

BBC Sport's Manchester correspondent Simon Stone has suggested that City could also face domestic punishment. "The Premier League Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules are similar, not exactly the same, but similar to Uefa's," he told BBC Sport's Football Focus.

"So you would have to conclude that if Manchester City have been found to have breached Uefa's FFP rules, then they would also breach Premier League FFP rules."

 
 

Crystal Palace's former owner Simon Jordan wants the Premier League to take action against City.

"No (a Champions League ban is not sufficient)… I sincerely hope the premier league now follow behind UEFA and enforce sanctions", he tweeted.

CRACK THE WHIP

No (a Champions League ban is not sufficient)… I sincerely hope the premier league now follow behind UEFA and enforce sanctions. If FFP is right, then the premier league have to sanction to enforce the integrity of that league.

SIMON JORDAN, ex-Crystal Palace owner, wants the rule book thrown at Man City.

A REAL STUNNER

It was a shock. Complete wow... You believe the people you work with, that's how it is.

I really feel for them, Pep and the players, but that is how it is. They can appeal so we will see what happens then. It is obviously serious. But the football they played was exceptional and will always be exceptional.

JURGEN KLOPP, Liverpool manager, reacting to news of Uefa's verdict.

"If FFP is right, then the premier league have to sanction to enforce the integrity of that league."

City will appeal against Uefa's decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in the hope of securing an "impartial judgment". If their appeal fails, manager Pep Guardiola and several star players could leave the club.

According to The Athletic, City intend to bring up the fact that Uefa's CFCB closed its investigation into French champions Paris Saint-Germain over alleged breaches of its FFP. Uefa prosecutor Yves Leterme looked into both cases involving PSG and City.

Uefa eventually decided that the value of PSG's sponsorships were more or less at the value that the Ligue 1 club declared even though an independent valuation suggested otherwise.

The Athletic added that City have been monitoring their European rivals' financial activities since they have been under investigation, and could argue that what they have been accused of doing is no worse than what other clubs are doing.

Since Sheikh Mansour's takeover in 2008, which put the financial might of Abu Dhabi behind them, City have won 10 major trophies - including four Premier League titles.

The Chinese government have provided City with additional backing, as has US private equity firm Silver Lake. They are all set to ensure City has a no-expense spared legal team that will challenge the validity of Uefa's ruling.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 17, 2020, with the headline 'City may lose 2014 EPL title'. Print Edition | Subscribe