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Manchester City suing Premier League over sponsorship rules

Premier League soccer news

EPL champions Manchester City have taken the Premier League to court over the organisation’s amended commercial rules.

A report by BBC Sport revealed that an arbitration hearing, set between June 10-21, will determine the legality of the league’s Associated Party Transaction (APT) rules regarding club sponsorship deals.

The action by Manchester City’s legal team comes after the Premier League amended rules around commercial deals following a vote by clubs back in February.

The new amendments target Premier League clubs that sign sponsorship deals with companies affiliated with their owners.

As part of the case, the league has offered the remaining 19 teams the chance to make witness statements.

The rules around APTs are designed so clubs cannot inflate their commercial deals and thus falsely increase their spending power under Profit and Sustainability Rules (PSR).

As per the PSR, losses by Premier League clubs are capped at a maximum of £105m over three years to ensure Financial Fair Play (FFP) requirements are met and teams cannot spend beyond their means.

First proposed in November last year due to concerns over the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, which owns Newcastle United, the amendment was initially rejected before being adopted in February after attaining the required minimum of 14 votes.

Although the outcome isn’t linked to City’s 115 charges for alleged financial irregularities dating back to 2009, it comes just months before the hearing of their charges by a Premier League disciplinary commission.

City are accused of misrepresenting their financial position for nearly a decade in order to gain an unfair advantage over their competitors — charges the club has repeatedly denied.

Despite winning the treble in 2023 and becoming the first team to lift four consecutive Premier League titles, the charges continue to taint Manchester City’s reputation.

City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has stood in solidarity with fans and staff over the charges.

“Of course, it’s frustrating,” he said earlier this week.

“I think the referencing is always frustrating — having it being talked about the way it’s being talked about.

“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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