As we predicted, the war with Man C has gone legal

By Tony Attwood

Man City sue Premier League in case that could decide fate of 115 charges according to the Telegraph. 

It’s interesting news, but not quite how I see it…

But we’re not good enough lawyers at Untold to predict or even report this exactly but previously we got the gist of it right.  For as we suggested a week or so back, Manchester City are making a legal claim against the Premier League over the way the rules are written concerning what are known as “associated-party financial rules” which the club claims are set up to discriminate against them.   The idea seems to be to undermine the 115 charges against Man C, and the claim is put in at this late stage and during the summer break to catch the rest of the league on the hop.

I am not sure there has ever been a legal case by one club against the league – at least not of this magnitude, but it does mean that the rest of the league that do not get sponsorship from the middle east can, as predicted here, pack up and walk away to form their own new league.  After that it would seem likely that Man C would form a league with PSG and clubs of that lik.

At the heart of their argument is that the club is being discriminated against by the “tyranny of the majority”, or “democracy” as we tend to call it in the west.

Were Man C to win it would seem likely that much of the rest of the Premier League would resign and set up their own new league anyway, a league to which Man C were not invited.  Uefa and Fifa would then have to decide which league they wished to acknowledge.  I imagine Man C’s owners would then buy Uefa.

The whole case is based on undermining any results of the Premier League’s enquiry into Manchester C, which suggests Man C have already become aware that they are going to lose the current enquiry hands down.

Certainly, if Man City were to win it would be the end of any financial controls over clubs and the notion of a competitive framework based on what is known as the “fair-market value” imposed on sponsors and transfers would end.  Clubs with infinite amounts of money could pay anything for anyone and control all of football.  Full details are in the Times.

Quite laughably (at least from my perspective and of course this is just written from my perspective), Man C are arguing that they are being discriminated against [yes honest!] because they have so much money, and they are apparently seeking damages for losses they have “suffered” because of the unfairness of fair market value rules which they claim “stifle commercial freedom.”

(They seem to have forgotten that sporting bodies long ago gained an agreement that normal competition laws that govern every day life, do not apply to sport in the UK).

What is also particularly noteworthy is that Manchester City are now suing the Premier League for damages and that could have enormous implications.  If the Premier League says it can’t pay, the League itself could be wound up.   If it does pay, which means the other clubs end up paying money to a club that has more money than the rest of them put together, then it seems most likely that  the rest of the League will resign and form a new competition. Either way the League ends as we know it.

At the heart of this, is the fair market value of sponsorships, set up to stop something like the Manchester City Official Tractor Supplier putting in millions and millions of pounds for a meaningless sponsorship.

Manchester City have already voted against player loans between connected teams being banned, a rule which would stop clubs in the same group for sharing the costs around themselves to avoid being caught for over-spending.   As things stand, clubs in the same group can undertake temporary loans with each other or sell players to each other, without much supervision as to the finances.

These new cases that Manchester City and its owners are bringing are quite separate from the battle over profit and sustainability charges and represent a classic approach among wealthy companies: tying up smaller organisations with a mountain of legal issues that the smaller body is not ready or able to fight.

Of course I don’t have inside information as to what is going on – so please do remember these are my personal thoughts, based on what I have read and nothing more than my years of running a modest-sized plc through which I witnessed all sorts of interesting shenanigans.

Hearings are said to be planned in multiple cases before the end of the year, when we should also hear the outcome of the accusations of 54 (honestly fifty-four) failures to provide proper financial information to the current enquiry.

That is aside to the claims for failing to give details of player and management payments and failure to comply with FFP and failure to co-operate with investigations over an astonishing five year period.

As we have noted before, the rest of the league don’t have to win – if they were to lose they could all resign from the league and go off and set up a new league, leaving Man C to play its associated clubs.  And PSG.

In a 2020 judgement, Uefa banned City from the Champions League for two seasons and fined them 30 million euros. However, the punishment was overturned by Cas on a technicality.

A separate legal case against “Adavanced Persistent Threats” has also come to life.  There seems to be every chance that before the legal battles are over, clubs will simply leave the Premier League to Manchester C and go off and do their own thing, without the bunch from foreign parts.

6 Replies to “As we predicted, the war with Man C has gone legal”

  1. Time to leave this Premier league fiasco . I noted that line that said in effect the city owners could go right ahead and buy UEFA, and wondered if they hadn’t already done so. Let’s suppose that were to happen I’m surmising that’s the point we get refused entry into European competitions as part of the payback from the city group
    , I imagine you may well be two steps ahead of me in thinking English football clubs would then have some difficulty sustaining their ” greatest league on earth” guff
    Oh well in for a penny…
    Let’s lose the FA and the PGMO while we’re clearing out the corruption

  2. Should this sorry state of affairs come to pass.Citeh will be pariahs in their own backyard.No one ,morally,will touch them with a barge pole.They would be forced from the English game.As for Europe ,they are scared enough already re the wealth of the premier league.Not sure the likes of Madrid,Juventus,Barca,Munchen want to be trying to compete with the oilers money every week knowing they don’t have a cats chance in hell of competing.So where does that leave them? If the crème de la crème of football both in England & Europe blackball them they’re finished.

  3. I’m not surprised a foreign state after buying into the English league and allegedly acting like they do business in the Middle East and being charged with breaking the rules are now using their financial muscle via very expensive lawyers to sue the FA & get the rules changed in their favour. They and the Russian oligarch have altered the Premier league to the detriment of the majority of fans. But typical of todays Globalists to move in, take over & in the process ruin whatever they touch for the ordinary man, woman & children.
    I’m now an outsider looking in at the sport I’ve followed since my cousin & I were taken to Stamford Bridge in 1952 by a neighbour who somehow was a season ticket holder at Chelsea & Arsenal & being able to go to Highbury for the first time in the spring of 1958.
    The one thing the Arabs can’t do and that is take away the fond memories I have over the past 50/60 years when I followed Arsenal all over the UK & Europe.

  4. Les Martin

    “Let’s lose the FA and the PGMO while we’re clearing out the corruption”

    As nauseating as they are, the old duffers at the FA and the incompetents at the PGMOL, are but an irritant when compared to this lot.

    There is nothing wrong with having money or the power it can give you.

    There is everything wrong with having too much money because it gives you too much power.

    The power these people have is going to be the end of the game as we know it, as I have been saying for some time.

  5. It is interesting that City attack the functionning of PL decision making.
    At some point they did join it and accepted how it was run.

    As Tony pointed out, they are starting to get nervous and launch a counter attack, starting a fire somewhere else.
    The fact that we’ve started reading that Guardiola is not sure about his future to me is just another indication that the shit is about to hit the fan. Add to that de Bruyne reported saying he’d be open to earn a cartload of money in Saudi Arabia and you get the feeling the lifeboats are being manned and people are preparing to jump ship.

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