Man City Stuff

Welcome to a site discussing all things Manchester City

Man City Premier League Charges

By: Ted Fred Franky, Refuting misinformation, December 28, 2023  6 months ago

A full explanation other than the drivel you read in the English media

City are facing 134 charges (not 115) as a result of just Two Pairs of Allegations made against the club.

The above sentence alone should tell you enough about how derogitory, derisory and innaccurate the reporting by the English media is on this issue.

There are actually five allegations, but

Man City Fans Sky and White Traditional Bar Scarf
Man City Fans Sky and White Traditional Bar Scarf

  • ONE allegation is outside the scope of the Premier League, and should be irrelevant
  • TWO of the Allegations are based on two of the other Allegations being proven
  • Of the TWO actual allegations against City, these are in pairs
    • Three of these pairs may be time barred in full
    • Leaving just one allegation

Two is a lot less than 134 (or 115 if you listen to people n the media.)

The media has sensationalised the whole episode

  • From the punishments City could face – such as stripping of league titles to expulsion from the league, and
  • How City can’t hide behind time barring or the inadmissibility of stolen evidence (ie the misleading emails printed in Der Spiegel).

However none of this is really true.

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

  • Rule X is key, as it means that the commission assessing the case against City, has to judge City in line with English Law, otherwise City can appeal through the civil courts. The law really protects City here.
  • Regarding punishments, the panel cannot strip City of league titles or deduct points from previous seasons, only the season when they announce their findings (see below).

Key Figure:

Murray Rosen is the Chair of the Premier League Judicial Panel. He is a KC (King’s Counsel), an Arsenal supporter, and also on the CAS panel of judges. There has been speculation that because of his assocation with Arsenal, the outcome will be to Arsenal’s liking, shall we say. However, you have to assume he knows what he is doing and will follow the law, If he chooses not to his reputation could end up in tatters.

Key Points:

Allegations

  • Of the five allegations, they all seem to depend on whether you can consider the Football Leaks information published by Der Spiegel as credible (see below).

Charges:

  • 89 happened before February 2017 and should be time barred under the Statute of Limitations Act 1980.
    • Includes all allegations about payments to Mancini
  • 45 have occurred since February 2017
    • 15 Relate to three allegations
    • 30 Relate to the fifth allegation ie non-co-operation

Punishments:

  • (W.51.2) Unlimited Fine
  • (W.51.4.2) Deduct Points
  • (W.51.4.4) Recommend Expulsion from the league (75% majority required rule B6*)
  • (W.51.5) Order City to pay compensation to any club seeking it
  • (W.51.6.) Impose an incoming Transfer Ban
  • (W.51.7. & W.51.10) Do anything else it chooses (NB see Arbitration Act)

*Our lazy English media has often stated that a two thirds majority is required, but not for this issue, rule B6 applies so 15 clubs must vote in favour. For all other votes, a two thirds majority of shareholders is required, the shareholders are the 20 clubs. So that means 14 shareholders most vote in favour of any proposal.

If City are Cleared of some or all of the charges:

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

  • (W.54.) The board can order the League to pay City’s costs, which could be substantial

The Process

The process is as follows:

  • It will be held in private
  • The Chair of the Premier League Judicial Panel (Murray Rosen) appoints a 3 person commission to arbitrate (W19) in accordance with the Arbitration Act 1996 (X)
    • Handbook Guidelines
      • Rule W80 means evidence from Der Spiegel can be considered if it can be considered reliable. Bearing in mind the disredited source (der Spiegel and Rui Pinto), this evidence might not be acceptable (note Arbitration Act below).
  • Appeals
    • City have the right to appeal, and the Chair (Murray Rosen) will appoint the panel to hear the appeal if he thinks it has merit (W78)
    • The Arbitration Act specifies that arbitration must be done in accordance with the Law of England and Wales, if it is not, City also have the right to appeal through the civil courts.
      • Relevant Laws
        • Statute of Limitations Act 1980, limits claims to within the last 6 years ie nothing before February 6th 2017 when City were charged can be pursued.
        • Judicial rules governing the admissibility of evidence ought to apply.
        • Court Procedure Rules ought to apply.

The Five Allegations City have to defend:

  1. In respect of each of Seasons 2009/10 to 2017/18 inclusive, the Premier League Rules applicable in those seasons that required provision by a member club to the Premier League, in the utmost good faith, of accurate financial information that gives a true and fair view of the club’s financial position, in particular with respect to its revenue (including sponsorship revenue), its related parties and its operating costs.
    • From Der Spiegel Football Leaks – This is the same as the UEFA allegation that City manipulated payments from Etisalat and Etihad Airways.
  2. In respect of:
    • Each of Seasons 2009/10 to 2012/13 inclusive, the Premier League Rules applicable in those Seasons requiring a member club to include full details of manager remuneration in its relevant contracts with its manager.
      • From Der Spiegel Football Leaks – Apparently, Mancini received addtional payments via companies based on Abu Dhabi. Mancini and his agent have denied he ever received this money.
    • Each of Seasons 2010/11 to 2015/16 inclusive, the Premier League Rules applicable in those Seasons requiring a member club to include full details of player remuneration in its relevant contracts with its players
      • From Der Spiegel Football Leaks – Apparently Yaya Toure received additional payments, similar to Mancini. Those birthday cakes are expensive!
  3. In respect of each of Seasons 2013/14 to 2017/18 inclusive, the Premier League Rules applicable in those Seasons requiring a member club to comply with UEFA’s regulations, including UEFA’s Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations,
    • City were cleared by CAS, so how it can be suggested they haven’t complied is odd?
    • In UEFA’s FFP Regaulations Article, 72 states “Any breach of these regulations may be penalised by UEFA in accordance with the Procedural rules governing the UEFA Club Financial Control Body.” – The rules do not allow a third party such as the Premier League to enforce their rules or assess them.
    • The Premier League appers to be exceeding its authority with this allegation.
  4. In respect of each of the Seasons 2015/16 to 2017/18 inclusive, the Premier League Rules applicable in those Seasons on Profitability and Sustainability….
    • If Allegation 1 and 2 are proven, then this could be a fait accomplis. If either Allegation 1 or 2 is not proven, this allegation cannot stand.
  5. In respect of the period from December 2018 to date, the Premier League Rules applicable in the relevant Seasons requiring a member club to co-operate with, and assist, the Premier League in its investigations, including by providing documents and information to the Premier League in the utmost good faith.
    • It is hard to see how the Premier League can prove this unless they have obtained such documents via alternative sources. Presumably from From Der Spiegel Football Leaks and have determined these are relaible?

Obviously I am assuming that the Premier League do not have a body of additional evidence supporting these claims. UEFA didn’t have any additional evidence, and it is hard to see where the Premier Legaue might have got such information from if they are stating that City have not co-operated? The only way they could have therefore obtianed any additional information is by criminal endeavour such as stealing it, hacking….

Football Leaks

The source of the issue is hardly credible, and it seems unlkely that anyone could rely on Football Leaks or Der Spiegel when you consider the following.

Original UEFA Case

  • At the CAS hearing, UEFA’s case was entirely based on the emails published by der Spiegel. UEFA produced no additional evidence against City (stated in the CAS report),
  • In the CAS report Simon Pearce claimed under oath the following and produced evidence to support it:-
    • The 6 emails published in der Spiegel were all sent prior to UEFA’s introducing FFP
    • The emails related to a deal that never went ahead
    • One of the six emails was two other emails edited together

Credibility

  • The New York Times turned down Football Leaks information because Rui Pinto could not prove any of it was true or how he had obtained it ie there was no proof that what his information alleged was true.
  • Claas Relotius (of Der Spiegel) committed journalistic fraud ‘on a grand scale’.
    • Relotius, 33, resigned after admitting to the scam on 19 December 2018, six weeks after publishing the damning articles about Manchester City (05 November 2018).
    • More about Der Spiegel Here
  • Rui Pinto (Football Leaks) is a convicted criminal.
    • Hacking – He has stolen emails from a computer server in Jersey. This is Hacking and against the law in UK (and Jersey)
    • Theft – He used information in the above emails to steal money from two banks accounts at the Caledonian Bank based in the Caymen Islands of approximately £30,000 and £200,000.
    • Blackmail – He used information in the above emails to try blackmail people including Neymar, Gareth Bale, Radamel Falcao, Jose Mourinho, Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
    • Attempted Extortion, Illegal Access to Data and Breach of Correspondence – He was found guilty in Septemebr 2023 by a Portuguese court who gave Pinto a four-year suspended sentence after finding him guilty on counts of attempted extortion, illegal access to data and breach of correspondence. The three-judge panel found Rui Pinto, now 34 years old, guilty on five counts of unauthorized entry into computer systems, three counts of intercepting correspondence for accessing emails, and one count of attempted extortion, Portuguese media reported. Pinto avoided prison due to an Amnesty agreed by Portugal with the Pope for young offenders, and his age at the time of the offence.
    • Hacking – In a second case, against Pinto that still has to be tried, Portuguese prosecutors are accusing him of 377 hacking-related crimes. He will not be eligible to avoid prison under Amnesty agreed with the pope this time.
    • Hacking – Rui Pinto has received a further 6 month suspended prison sentence for hacking PSG computer systems.
    • More About Rui Pinto Here

It should be obvious to any fair minded person that this case is utter nonsense, unless of course the Premier League have additional evidence that UEFA did not have. However, allegation 3 suggests this whole case is more about trying to punish City in whatever way they can.

If you want to find out more about Rui Pinto and all of the above you can in the articles and information below:

Manchester City MCFC Scarf
Manchester City MCFC Scarf

The CAS Report

Top der Spiegel Journalist Resigns Over Fake Interviews – The Gaurdian

Der Spiegel Articles on CIty

Rui Pinto Portugal Lisbon – The Independent

Football Leaks Rui Pinto PSG – The Daily Mail

The Premier League Statement Broken Down

“In accordance with Premier League Rule W.82.1, the Premier League confirms that it has today referred a number of alleged breaches of the Premier League Rules by Manchester City Football Club (Club) to a Commission under Premier League Rule W.3.4.“

These rules relate to the Premier League Handbook 2022/2023 found here:

Premier League Rules

Link to Premier League handbook 2022/23

Relevant Rules:

W82.1

W.82. All proceedings convened under this Section W (Disciplinary) shall be confidential

and heard in private, save as follows:

W.82.1. where a suspected or alleged breach of the Rules has been referred to a

Commission pursuant to Rule W.3.4, the Board will confirm the same in

public, providing details of the Person suspected or alleged to be in breach

and the Rule(s) suspected or alleged to have been breached;

W3.4

W.3. The Board shall have power to deal with any suspected or alleged breach of these

Rules by:

W.3.4. referring the matter to a Commission appointed under Rule W.19;

For completeness

W.19. Subject to Rule W.84, a Commission shall be appointed by the Chair of the Judicial

Panel and shall comprise three members of the Disciplinary Panel of whom one, who

shall be legally qualified, shall sit as chairman of the Commission.

W.84. Notwithstanding Rules W.19 to W.21 and W.63 and any other Rules to the contrary,

the Chair of the Judicial Panel may, in his/her absolute discretion, when appointing

Commissions, Appeal Boards, tribunals and otherwise, as provided for in the Rules,

appoint on an ad hoc basis individuals who are not members of the Judicial Panel

but whom he/she considers would be suitable for the particular appointment (and

for the period of their temporary appointment each such person will be considered

a member of the Judicial Panel). It is anticipated that the Chair of the Judicial Panel

will exercise this power only in exceptional circumstances.

W21 is irrelevant.

W.63. An appeal shall lie to an Appeal Board which shall be appointed by the Chair of the

Judicial Panel and, subject to Rule W.84, shall comprise three members of the

Appeals Panel of whom one, who shall have held judicial office, shall sit as chairman

of the Appeal Board.

Commission Powers

W.51.2. impose upon the Respondent a fine unlimited in amount and suspend any

part thereof;

W.51.4.2. deduct points scored or to be scored in League Matches or such

other matches as are referred to in Rule W.51.4.1

W.51.4.4. recommend that the League expels the Respondent from

membership in accordance with the provisions of Rule B.6;

B.6. Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 14.10, the League may expel a Club from

membership upon a special Resolution to that effect being passed by a majority of

not less than three-quarters of such members as (being entitled to do so) vote by

their representatives or by proxy at a General Meeting of which notice specifying the

intention to propose the Resolution has been duly given.

Article 14 requires a 2/3 majority to vote trough any changes, but this does not apply to expelling a club

W.51.5. order the Respondent to pay compensation unlimited in amount to any

Person or to any Club (or club);

W.51.10. make such other order as it thinks fit.

W.54. If the Board fails to prove a complaint a Commission may order the League to pay to

the Respondent such sum by way of costs as it shall think fit

Appeal Board Powers

W.79. Subject to the provisions of Section X of these Rules (Arbitration), the decision of an

Appeal Board shall be final.

Admissibility of Evidence

W.80. In the exercise of their powers under this Section of these Rules, a Commission or an

Appeal Board shall not be bound by judicial rules governing the admissibility of

evidence. Instead, facts relating to a breach of these Rules may be established by

any reliable means.

Disciplinary and Dispute Resolution

Section X : Arbitration

X.1. In this Section of these Rules:

X.1.1. “the Act” means the Arbitration Act 1996 or any re-enactment or

amendment thereof for the time being in force;

X.3. Disputes subject to arbitration under this Section X will be deemed to fall into one of

three categories, being:

X.3.1. disputes arising from decisions of Commissions or Appeal Boards made

pursuant to Rules W.1 to W.84 (Disciplinary) of these Rules (“Disciplinary

Disputes”);

X.4. In the case of a Disciplinary Dispute, the only grounds for review of a decision of a

Commission or Appeal Board by way of arbitration under this Section X shall be that

the decision was:

X.4.1. reached outside of the jurisdiction of the body that made the decision;

X.4.2. reached as a result of fraud, malice or bad faith;

X.4.3. reached as a result of procedural errors so great that the rights of the

applicant have been clearly and substantially prejudiced;

X.4.4. reached as a result of a perverse interpretation of the law; or

X.4.5. one which could not reasonably have been reached by any Commission or

Appeal Board which had applied its mind properly to the facts of the case.