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The problem beyond Superleague is the secrecy of the Premier League

By Tony Attwood

As you may have heard if you follow such things there is already a case going through the courts in which Manchester City are appealing a decision by the Premier League. 

Quite what decision this is no one is sure, although we know it is nothing to do with the Super League since it started too early.

Below is the vital documentation, found by an eagle eyes City supporter.  Except here’s the oddity.  That document does not at the moment seem to be available on the Court of Appeal Civil Division list.  If you can find it on the internet can you write a comment and put in the URL

But let us assume that this is not an invention and that the documents are not there because I don’t know how to do searches properly.

It is suggested by some Manchester City watchers and supporters that the club is alleging a  bias in the arbitration system.  A decision has been made by a lower court: Manchester City, who of course have been allowed by the PL and Uefa to have as much cash as they want, are fighting the case all the way through the legal system.

The case itself appears to be about whether a judgement relating to the Manchester C appeal in an earlier case can be published.  Neither party in the original case wanted the result of the appeal published – which tells us a lot about the way the workings of the Premier League are being kept in a cosy cartel, away from rival clubs, journalists and supporters.

Manchester City, clearly miffed by something in the decision are appealing to the Court of Appeal against that decision and the League is supporting them.  The Court of Appeal has suggested it doesn’t know if it has the right to hear such an appeal.

But it has has given permission anyway, with the question of jurisdiction to be argued at the appeal. So there will be no publication until the appeal has been heard.  Which may be why the documentation has now been removed from the legal lists.

Some are arguing that the Court of Appeal is suggesting there is something rotten within the entire process used by the league, although I am not sure what this is.

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The suggestion made by Manchester City enthusiasts is that the League is running a disciplinary proceeding against Man City, and City are claiming that the whole process is biased. But they are also trying to keep the whole process secret.  The court has refused this demand for privacy, but is still hearing the debate.

So this could be another Financial Fair Play case, which we know Manchester City find quite sensitive.  But these things move slowly, so we are unlikely to know much more for quite a while.

But it is this scenario of secrecy and legalities which we really are having to get used to, and it is interesting to note that this is happening in Germany too – the country held up as the model of how to stop the nastymen taking over “our” clubs.

Anyone who looks at the German system must have two areas of worry.   One is that Bayern who are held up as the great glorious democratic well-run club have won the league eight times in the last eight years and are 10 points clear at the top, so nine out of nine.  Is that really competitive?

And then there is Red Bull Leipzig, who bought a fifth division team SSV Markranstadt and are now second in the top league.  To ensure the members who control the club do what the owners want, members either have to be RB employees, or pay something around 150 times per season to be a member (1000 euros) that the employees pay.  They also refuse requests to become a member without an explanation – so it’s a closed shop.  It is not the democratic model our media is pretending it is.

Thus the only club that can challenge Bayern, is a club that has twisted the rules ludicrously and simply got away with it.  And that is the system people say we should look at implementing!

But the implementation of the German model seems impossible because by forcing the clubs to give 51% of themselves to fans, the government would have to compensate the clubs, and the clubs would probably use the tricks of RB Leipzig to get around it.  Forbes reckon just buying out Liverpool alone would cost the government £1.5bn.  Would non-football fans be willing to see £29bn of tax revenue given over to buying football clubs, at least 19 of whom they don’t support.

This tale of the government getting involved sounds like another tale of Boris.  An idea put forward without any plans which he tells others to see to, and then it gets lost.  Someone asks why it got lost, Boris says he doesn’t know but will ask the Secretary of State for Certain Things to investigate, the Conservative Party changes leadership, and the tale vanishes.

This is not, in my view, the way forward at all.

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4 comments to The problem beyond Superleague is the secrecy of the Premier League

  • Zedsaunt

    Seeing the labyrinth there in front of your eyes might be the duvet to quell discussion on the need to reform, but each of the twelve clubs is already a global brand, even more so this Sunday morning than a week ago, and I’d hazard the guess it doesn’t matter the language, the sentence around the planet reads the same – the crisis is the consequence resulting from the structure of football, that structure has to change, labyrinth or not.

    Thanks for the read Tony.

  • Nitram

    This either is or isn’t a very complicated subject depending on how you want to look at it.

    It is, if you want to dig in to the nuances of the laws, quite complicated.

    It isn’t if you see it for what it is, which is that Manchester City as the richest club in the PL by a long long way and therefore the most powerful by a long long way, simply want to do what they want, when they want, how they want, and if anyone dares to stand in their way they are going to stare them down, then if that doesn’t work, take them down.

    The bottom line is their fans love it and wont have a word said against them, after all they were so s**t for so long who can blame them ?

    It’s simple really. Man City are rich and powerful bullies who will do anything they want to get their own way.

  • Nitram

    continuing:

    oh, and by the way, who have now won the League Cup, and almost certainly the premier League already. Who says Money doesn’t buy you everything ? And also one half of the FA Cup semis involves Chelsea and Man City. The other is Leicester v Southampton. I know who my money would be on as potential winners.

    And we have the Champions league semi finalists:

    Real Madrid. Chelsea. PSG. Man City.

    Believe it or believe it not Real Madrid are actually the paupers amongst those 3 given they haven’t actually got a sugar daddy, or at least not a sugar daddy in the way those other 3 have.

    And some people keep on insisting it’s NOT all about the money. Don’t make me laugh.

    And as for these people protesting outside the stadiums and the pundits whinging on the TV about the greed and the money and how it’s going to affect the lesser clubs, don’t make me laugh, they are all hypocrites, plain and simple.

    The fans want the money alright, it’s just they want it from the Kronkes rather than this super 6. Oh they want to BUY the Premiership alright, they just don’t want to buy the super 6.

    As if they care about the rest of the clubs. If Kronke dropped a Billion Dollars on our club tomorrow they’d love him.

    Tell me that’s not the case !!

    As for the pundits, they’re only upset because the money might be coming from a place that may not benefit them.

    Honestly I’ve read some much hypocritical bullshit over the last few days it’s nauseating.

  • Many of these pundits have trouble putting a sentence together. Their ability to construct a reasoned argument through thought and consideration is even less tangible. Forgetting the pros and cons of the ESL, I have yet to hear any pundit put forward a reasonable example of how the fans will benefit either way. Their statements, as ever, are opinion and unsubstantiated.

    Their support for the existing situation, particularly regarding the shambolic PGMOL, reveals their true feelings towards the fans.

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