Manchester City have reportedly lodged legal challenges against the Premier League over the 115 charges of alleged rule breaches.
The reigning Premier League champions are believed to be disputing both the legality of the charges brought against them and the barrister in charge of the process.
According to The Times, the dispute has arisen in relation to changes in the English top-flight’s rules, with the six-time champions of the belief that they should not apply to investigations into alleged rule breaches before their introduction.
In addition to that, the club are believed to have challenged the involvement of Murray Rosen KC, a self-proclaimed supporter of City’s direct title challengers Arsenal.
Rosen is the barrister at the head of the Premier League’s independent judicial panel – the person in charge of appointing a chair for the disciplinary commission with rules allowing him to appoint himself.
Arsenal will have no direct involvement in the commission which will decide City’s fate. The Premier League’s statement said ‘commissions are independent of the Premier League and member clubs.
It is not anticipated that the case brought against Man City will produce a result for at least two to four years, with this most recent development set to delay proceedings even further.
City received legal papers from the Premier League in February initially announcing the charges over alleged financial rule breaches.
The club, however, made it abundantly clear that they would take all available steps to defend themselves from the charges, and claimed to have ‘irrefutable evidence’ to dispute the alleged breaches over the last 14 seasons.
There have been a number of changes to the top-flight’s rules over the past few campaigns, and it is as yet unclear which of the rule changes the challenge is directed at.
A change in the rules in February 2022 dictated that individuals must offer up information or documentation on request, as well as answer questions ‘comprehensively’ and on a ‘co-operative and open basis’.
The 2016-17 season saw a further change to guidelines, stating that all clubs must comply ‘in full’ with Premier League investigations and supply information requested by the competition.
However, should the charges of alleged breaches are proven, then there could be a raft of potential consequences for the club.
These could range from a points deduction to expulsion from the Premier League altogether.
The charges against the reigning champions relate to financial information regarding revenue, details of manager and player remuneration, UEFA regulations, profitability and sustainability, and co-operation with Premier League investigations