Home Sports Manchester City, all the accusations and what it risks. Mancini’s contract is also in the viewfinder

Manchester City, all the accusations and what it risks. Mancini’s contract is also in the viewfinder

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Manchester City, all the accusations and what it risks.  Mancini’s contract is also in the viewfinder

Fans love to see the beams in the eyes of other clubs without noticing those of their own team, or minimizing them. In elite football straws don’t exist and every club, with some very rare exceptions, has its own beams, which sooner or later could – the conditional is a must – find themselves forced to account for it. Now it’s the turn of the Manchester Citygrappling with the accusation of over one hundred alleged violations of the financial rules of the Premier Leaguematerialized through a document of 735 pages full of details and difficult to read, due to the technical language and the constant references to the articles and paragraphs of the Premier League regulation. Below we propose a small reconstruction. The violations alleged against Manchester City are divided into five sectionswith the disciplinary procedure entrusted by the Premier’s board of directors to a independent commission (rule W.3.4) and, precisely by virtue of this passage, made public (rule W.82.1).

First section: income statements
The document speaks of “a series” of violations of financial rules. The most substantial section is the first, which covers the seasons from 2009-2010 to 2017-2018. For the first two seasons, incorrect behavior relating to failure is contested “best faith” required (rule B.13) in declarations to the Premier League; to the presentation of the accounts to the register of companies – the 09-10 season was the first of the order to the City – and, more generally (all paragraphs of C rules), to the communication of revenue streams and the relationship between profits e lossesneeded to get the UEFA license and playing in Europe (in 2010 City, with Robert Mancini who had replaced Mark Hughes in the middle of the season, had qualified at theEuropa Leaguewhile the following year it had moved into Champions). From the 11-12 season onwards, the disputes concern the category of rules erelating to presentation of accounts annual and of balanceas well as the projection of cash e expenses in subsequent years, the latter document which must be updated and integrated over time if there are changes, positive or negative, compared to what was previously communicated.

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Second section: registration of contracts
This section is dedicated to Robert Mancinior rather, to the communication of all the details relating to the contract of the Italian coach, whose experience on the Manchester City bench lasted from 2009-2010 to 2012-2013. The alleged violations refer, in fact, to the lack of completeness in the communications by the club, which would not have faithfully reported all the details of the contractual relationship with the then coach of the first team, also infringing the rules (categories P and Q) which govern the exact terms and methods of communication of the contracts registered with the Premier League League. They would have been omitted (categories K and T) also full details of salaries and gods bonus of the players, foreseen by the respective contracts, for all seasons up to 2015/2016.

Third and fourth section: Financial Fair Play and sustainability
The theme of Financial Fair Play (FFP) has always been the main workhorse of all the detractors of City’s management model, and in February 2020 the showdown seemed to have arrived when UEFA disqualified the club from the European competitions for two seasons due to alleged FFP violations. However, the disqualification was lifted shortly after Court of Arbitration for Sport, for a sentence that dealt a very hard blow to the questionable (in terms of methods and times of application) but necessary UEFA policy for budget sustainability. The contestation of violations of certain category B rules, relating to the third section of the charges, concerns the parameters established by the Premier League for compliance with the UEFA FFP regulations in force between the 2013-2014 season and the 2017-18 season. The fourth section (category E rules) is very similar to the third as it is always inherent in the regulations on profitability e economic sustainabilitybut in this case it is about internal rules to the Premier League, generally milder than those of UEFA, but also dedicated to the ways in which clubs can spend their earnings. With regard to this section, the disputed seasons are those from 2015-2016 to 2017-2018, i.e. the years characterized by the stellar expenses for the purchases of the various Kevin De BruyneRaheem SterlingNicolas Otamendi (15-16), John StonesLeroy SaneIlkay GundoganGabriel Jesus (16-17), EdersonBernardo SilvaKyle Walker e Aymeric Laporte (17-18).

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Fifth section: transparency
In the last five seasons Manchester City bought 19 players for a total outlay equal to 550 million poundsranging from 100 spent on the England international Jack Grealish at 2.6 for the Dutch defender Phillippe Sandler. As of December 2018, the Premier League has introduced new rules that oblige clubs to be transparent through aactive cooperation with the investigations carried out by Premier itself, also through the supply of documents and useful information on ongoing proceedings. The complaints against Manchester City in this section concern categories B and W of the aforementioned regulation, with the first dedicated to governance of the league and the aforementioned concept of “maximum good faith” which must be the basis of the process of cooperation and assistance to the activity of the Premier League, while the second regulates the resolution of controversies to a commission independent of both the Premier League and the clubs themselves.

Possible scenarios
From this moment and until the end of the investigation takes place, as provided by regulation, silence on the part of the Premier League, which will communicate the outcome of the procedure on its website once it is concluded. To test the soundness of the rules, on Monday, two journalists from The Athletic, Luke Brown and Luke Bosher, tried to contact the agency for further statements, but their requests were denied. At the level of sanctions, the spectrum is very broad. As written by Martyn Zielger on the Times“in case the accusations are confirmed, one could go to one penalty in the standings, although it is not yet clear whether it will be retroactive – with the consequent loss of the titles won – or will be applied to the current season, with exclusion from the Premier League”. The reference article is W.51, which in paragraph 4 provides, in the event that the defendant found guilty is found to be a club, the judging commission may: decree the Suspension from championship matches for a period deemed “adequate” (W.51.4.1.); penalize the company through the point deduction ranked, current or future (W.51.4.2); invite the Premier board to order the replay of one or more matches played by the club (W.51.4.3); recommend to the league theexpulsion from the companyà (W.54.4.4). All plausible scenarios but, to date, impossible to predict.

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