According to one of Britain’s finest sports attorneys, Nick De Marco KC, the Premier League’s action against Manchester City might take up to four years before a judgement is reached..
The Premier League announced the findings of a four-year investigation into City on Monday, alleging that the defending champions violated their financial fair play regulations 115 times between 2009 and 2023.
City responded quickly, stating that they intended to contest the charges and that they ‘look forward to this subject being put to rest once and for all.’
A legal battle is about to begin, and City has already hired renowned barrister Lord Pannick KC to lead their defense team..
De Marco, who previously represented Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday on financial fair play claims, believes the process might take years to complete.
‘Having worked on the Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday financial fair play cases, both of which involved two charges over about two years and took about a year and a half from charges to the end, I would not be surprised if these proceedings took significantly longer given there are apparently 115 charges covering a period of 14 years,’ De Marco told The Times.
Stefan Borson, a former City finance advisor, agrees with De Marco’s judgment, albeit he does not believe the club will be able to challenge through the courts..
‘I believe the club will be unable to appeal to the English courts due to Premier League rules requiring its issues to be resolved through the Commission and arbitration,’ Borson stated.
‘Because of the nature of these claims, the disciplinary process is going to take a long time – I would not be shocked if it took more than two years.
‘Ultimately, I believe it will be very difficult for the Premier League to prove this degree of misconduct, but if it does, the ramifications for the club and its directors, as well as, of course, the supporters, will be terrible..
If City is found to have committed any misconduct, they might face serious sanctions, including a points deduction or ejection from the Premier League.
However, rumours imply that City executives expect Pep Guardiola to have departed the club by the time any potential punishments are imposed, and the timeframe that De Marco has mentioned suggests that this may be the case..
Guardiola has agreed a new contract extension with City that would keep him at the Etihad Stadium until 2025.
Despite this, he declared last year that if the club is proved to have lied to him about financial fair play standards, he will leave the club immediately.
However, if the court battle is successful, he may not receive a final response during his tenure..
Leave a Reply