Manchester City

Breaking News: Lawyer hands Man City verdict on Premier League legal case as 115 FFP charges impact clarified

Manchester City and the Premier League are presently involved in a two-week hearing about transaction rules that the former believes to be illegal.

Lawyer hands Man City verdict on Premier League legal case as 115 FFP charges impact clarified

The Premier League is currently in a hearing with Manchester City (Image: OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Stefan Borson, a former financial advisor for Manchester City, believes the team will lose its legal dispute with the Premier League over the Associated Party Transaction (APT) regulations.

He has noted, meanwhile, that the decision is not expected to have an effect on Man City’s independent case over the 115 accusations of Profit & Sustainability Rules (PSR) violations brought against them by the Premier League in February 2023. All claims of PSR violations are refuted by City.

A two-week hearing on the club’s legal challenge to APTs, in which the Blues contend they are illegal, began on Monday. According to the law, the Premier League is entitled to supervise sponsorship agreements with organisations associated with club owners.

Following Newcastle United’s takeover, the League implemented these guidelines in 2021 to make sure that transactions between related parties don’t exceed fair market value and secretly give a club more leeway within PSR.

In the event that Man City prevails in the lawsuit, the Premier League may no longer have the authority to act as a watchdog over these kinds of acquisitions, allowing transactions to go without scrutiny. Borson asserts that the club will have a difficult time changing APT regulations.

“I just think arguments of this nature regarding competition law are esoteric, fine-margin calls, so the chances of them overturning a set of rules that have been put in place following a vote is going to be a challenge for City,” he said in an interview with talkSPORT.

However, Borson had already emphasised that the 115-charge case, which charges Man City with sourcing illicit funds and cooperating for incidents between 2009 and 2018, will not be significantly affected by the conclusion of the APT hearing.

He emphasised that the APT regulations did not overlap with the PSR requirements because they only became effective in 2021, which is after the period in which City is alleged to have violated them.

According to Borson, there were no regulations concerning Associated Party Transactions when the rulebook was last updated, which is when City is believed to have committed these violations. But regulations pertaining to the filing of fair accounting will always exist.

“No set of regulations would allow City to do what they are accused of doing from 2009 to 2018.” They are charged with fabricating their accounts. And if it turns out to be true, they will face harsh consequences.

It is anticipated that the PSR case against Man City will begin in November and run for about six weeks. The Premier League and the club are both entitled to file an appeal against the decision.

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