Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Premier League financial regulations threatening to harm quality, Man City chairman Al Mubarak warns

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 5 Jun 2024

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The Premier League’s financial regulations are threatening to harm the quality of the league, Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has warned.

It was revealed on Tuesday were taking unprecedented legal action against the Premier League’s Associated Party Transaction (APT) rules, regarding commercial and sponsorship deals with companies owned or associated with the club’s owners.

Initially introduced in December 2021 in the wake of Newcastle United’s sale to the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, the rules are designed to prevent clubs from inflating commercial deals with companies linked to their owners.

City reportedly said in a 165-page legal document they felt the rules are “unlawful” and they were victims of “discrimination”, and would seek damages for revenue lost by preventions made by those rules.

Chairman Al Mubarak, speaking in an interview published on Wednesday, thinks the standard of play in the league will suffer as a consequence of the regulations.

“I think the Premier League got to where it is today by being the most competitive league. So, I hope there is a bit more sensibility in regulating,” he said.

“Always, a balanced approach is good for all the leagues, be it in England or the rest of Europe. I think you won’t see the same level as we’ve seen in the last years, because of the levels of regulations that have come into place over the last 12 months.

“There’s also been a lot of restrictions now put in place on swaps and loans, so even that is now much more restricted.

“I think the level of manoeuvrability that was in place before that allowed teams to do what they were able to do in the past, I think, is much more restricted this year and that’s going to be reflected, I believe, this summer.

The dispute will be settled during a two-week private arbitration hearing beginning on Monday.

The result of this legal battle could affect the outcome of City’s hearing into their 115 charges of allegedly breaching rules related to financial fair play, which is due to take place in November.

Many of these relate to the club allegedly not providing accurate information about the revenue to the Premier League, who deducted points from Everton and Nottingham Forest last season for not complying with Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSR).

Al Mubarak does not think it is fair that the charges of “constantly referenced” when talking about City’s success in recent years.

“Of course, it’s frustrating – having it being talked about the way it’s being talked about,” he added. “I can feel for our fanbase, and everyone associated with the club, to have these charges constantly referenced.

“I think we as a club have to respect that there is a process that we have to go through, and we’re going through it.

“It’s taking longer than what anyone hoped for, but it is what it is, and I’ve always repeated, let’s be judged by the facts, and not by claims and counterclaims.”

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