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Another Lazy BBC Article

By: Ted Fred Franky, Refuting misinformation, May 9, 2024  1 month ago

More misrepresentation of the Premier League Case Against City by the BBC

This article was almost cetainly written by Dan Roan or at his behest by one of his minions:

The firs tthing to note is the facts in this article are a regurgitation of other misleading articles flaoting around the web. So let’s lok at those 115 charges again and compare them against the analysis I did here:

Official Manchester City Scarf – PUMA 2
Official Manchester City Scarf – PUMA 2

What baffles me about this is the huge discrepency in some of the figures, I really cannot explain it.

The article is at best naive, it  overlooks some key points in the case:

5 Allegations have been made against City. These charges reference over 100 different rules. however many of the references are not breaches of rules (despite the Premier League stating so)

Official Manchester City Scarf – PUMA3
Official Manchester City Scarf – PUMA3

For Example Rule E60 is referenced thrice, but this only applies to clubs who have played in the Championship. It is absurd to suggest that City have been charged with this rule.

Furthermore many of the rule breaches listed detail a process. City haven’t actually broken these rules, it is simply that the rules explain the process that is to be followed (Rules E52-E60).

The case is governed by the Arbitration Act 1996 (Rule X1) which states that the whole process of assessing the case against City has to be done in line with English Law. A failure to follow this law would allow City the right of appeal through the civil courts under Section 69.

Four key laws stand out which must be applied:

  • Statute of Limitations Act 1980
  • The Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999
  • The Computer Misuse Act 1990 (CMA)
  • Civil Procedure Act 1997

Statute of Limitations Act 1980

The first protects litigation against anything more than 6 years old. There are exceptions to this but this means anything prior to 6 Feb 2017 cannot be pursued. This means almost all of the case collapses, and Allegation 2 no longer exists. I have written about this here.

The Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999

The second means the Premier League (the Third Party) has no right to assess whether City complied with a contract with UEFA or not ie FFP. This means the Allegation 3 cannot be enforced.

Official Manchester City Scarf – PUMA 2
Official Manchester City Scarf – PUMA 2

The Computer Misuse Act 1990 (CMA)

Thirdly, all of the articles written in Der Spiegel upon which this case appears to based, are from hacked emails,  therefore they have been illegally obtained. No barrister in a court of law could therefore present them as evidence without risking losing his right to work as a barrister. So how could an independent commission accept this as evidence, especially if Manchester City are forced appeal through the civil courts. This evidence could not be presented?

Civil Procedure Act 1997

The forth causes several problems for the case against City. Firstly, the original statement of charges wrongly cross referenced rules from the wrong handbook years. The acutal rules quoted included failing to participate in the FA Cup, failing to have a pitch of the right dimenions. It was quickly updated and the charged were then refiled. In a civil court the case would have been thrown out at this point. It also means that the date of filing ie 06 Feb 2023 is not the effective date, which means the actual date for the Statute of Limitations maybe be later.

Secondly, and more importantly Section 32 of the Court Procedure Rules requires witness statements to be prepared and signed, and subsequently the witnesses cross examined. The original source Rui Pinto is unlikely to be available for cross examination, nor are the Der Spiegel journalists involved, which could would invalidate their witness statements. Bearing in mind Rui Pinto is in prison and the Der Spiegel staff involved have all been sacked for printing stories they knew to be false. It is hard to believe the Der Spiegel articles to be credible evidence. As such the articles may be inadmissible as evidence. So all City really have to do is request these witnesses attend the hearing, and if they don’t the case is over?

This last point assumes there is not additional evidence against City.  In the UEFA case there wasn’t, so it is hard to see why there might be now?

So the real question is why has the Premier League brought a case that they had no realistic chance of winning? It’s certainly malicious.

More importantly? On whose behalf are they acting? A multimillion pound hopeless malicious case cannot be in the interest of any club in the Premier League. Ultiematly, this could result in the total collapse of the Premier League.

Man City Nero Scarf - Sky/Navy - One Size
Man City Nero Scarf - Sky/Navy - One Size

If Manchester City win a case in the civil courts, they would be well within their rights to claim damages directly off the Premier League (ie money from it’s broadcasting deals which are the life blood of every Premier League Club).

Also some of the most influential English clubs (Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham) are clearly behind this action.  Their influence on this case is an abuse of a dominant market position. It is quite likely that City will have a case for substantial damages against these clubs. This could even put them out of business.

In the UK anti-competitive behaviour is prohibited under Chapters I and II of the Competition Act 1998 (the Act) and may be prohibited under Articles 81 and 82 of the EC Treaty. These laws prohibit anti-competitive agreements between businesses and the abuse of a dominant position in a market.

If this matter does end up in the Civil Courts and City successfully claim damages whether it be off the clubs involved directly or off the Premier League directly, it would mean future revenues of these clubs would be significantly reduced. This financial damage would affect their ability to compete in Europe and in the Premier League, as these clubs still rely heavily on revenue generated by the Premier League. Such a loss in revenue could put City in an unassailable position for many years to come and see Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham fighting relegation, if not go down.

The point is that this case is not in the interest of fans of Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United or Tottenham because the end game could be disastrous for them?

I must stress again, the eilitism that has created this situation, was nurtured by Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham when they started their attempts to take over English football in the 1980s (I really need to complete this article and publish it). It has created the most uneven playing field in the history of professional football in England. We do need an alternative, to make it fairer, but what we do not need is this ridiculous and criminal attempt by them to destroy another club who has got in their way.