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The Aquilian

Premier League accuse Man City of breaking over 100 financial fair play allegations

Manchester City Stadium (From Profile, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons)
By Peter Kalitka–

About a half-decade ago, Manchester City Football Club began dominating the Premier League, England’s top football (soccer) league.  Since its birth in 1880, Man City has always been a below-average football club.  However, in recent history, they have begun to create a dynasty.

Everything changed during the 2008 takeover of the Abu Dhabi Group.  Man City started earning more money than ever before.  They signed some of the best players in the world of football like Yaya Touré, Sergio Agüero, Kevin de Bruyne and eventually the world’s most renowned active coach at the time, Pep Guardiola, in 2016.

The 2008 takeover eventually produced six Premier Leagues titles and achieved the first-ever 100-point season in the 2017-18 season.  According to Forbes, the club also thrived financially, now being listed as worth $4.25 billion.  However, breaking news was released on Feb. 6, 2023, that Man City broke Financial Fair Play (FFP) from 2009-18.  So, what are the charges and what did they do?

According to Sky Sports, over nine seasons Man City allegedly “did not fully disclose the financial remunerations.” 

The New York Times reports that Man City allegedly lied about how much money they spent and how much money they earned.  More specifically, they allegedly lied about how much they were paying players and managers, which is a vital part of building a successful club.

Kyle Walker (Manchester City, 2) receives a red card for foul play. Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

So if this is true, what should happen to Man City?  Should they be banned, suspended, or just be given a slap on the wrist?

Being an avid fan of the Premier League, I have always admired the way Man City play under Pep Guardiola; however, it might just be that their beautiful style of play was of illegal financial means.  Within the last decade or so, the English Premier League has grown to be the best football (soccer) league in the world, and the best team consistently has been Man City. 

So, if the allegations are true, Man City should be suspended from the Premier League for nine years, the same amount of time they cheated.  It is only fair that such a prestigious institution serves the correct punishment for someone who exploited and gained an unfair advantage over their opponents. 

The tricky and problematic part of this resolution is the decision to either strip away their titles or leave them be.  It is only fair and just to strip away their titles that were undeservingly won.  The players, however, most likely unaware of the crime, should still be awarded champions as they worked their whole lives for these championships.  It would be unjust to strip away the silverware from the innocent players who were just enjoying the beautiful game.

We will have to wait and see for the next for months to determine whether Man City is guilty or innocent, but in the meantime, Man City aims its focus to try and make a push against league leaders Arsenal and achieve their first-ever Champions League title.

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    Carol CorganFeb 16, 2023 at 9:20 am

    Wow, Peter. If Man City is guilty, it will be interesting to see just how they are penalized.
    Since I’m only a periodic reader of the sports pages, I was wholly unaware of this potential scandal.