'Feels unfair' - Government MP slams Premier League over Man City's 115 charges as Everton watch on

A senior Conservative MP has claimed the Premier League are taking too long to hear Manchester City's alleged 115 breaches of financial rules, which is in turn creating an unfair system between clubs.

Caroline Dinenage, chair of the Government's Culture, Media and Sport Committee, has suggested it is 'unfair' on clubs like Everton and Nottingham Forest who have been punished this season for their own single charges of Profit and Sustainability Rules. She also questioned comments made by Premier League CEO Richard Masters to the committee over 'big clubs and small clubs'.

Masters had been asked if smaller clubs should be expected to bear the same legal costs as wealthier clubs, saying: "I have said that those standard directions are for everybody. They are not just for small clubs." He later clarified in a letter that: “It would be incorrect to infer from this that there is any unfair treatment based on club size."

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Now, Dinenage has told The House that the committee were 'puzzled' by Masters' comments, which she felt indicated a 'two-tier system' which City would be benefitting from.

“It does sometimes feel like there's some kind of two-tier system here," she said. “When the boss of the Premier League came and gave evidence to the select committee, he spoke about ‘big clubs’ and ‘small clubs’.

“The whole committee found that a little bit puzzling, because actually there shouldn't be a different standard of behaviour depending on the size of the club.”

Discussing City's charges specifically, Dinenage pointed to the cases heard against Everton and Forest which resulted in points deductions for both over the course of the season just ended.

“It's taking too long, and it feels unfair to teams like Everton for whom the decisions have been already made and the penalties have already been handed out,” Dinenage said.

“Teams like Everton, they've taken points deduction, they've taken punishment, and meanwhile Man City, who've got a whole rack of allegations against them, are tied up in legal red tape. That could go on for years.”

Masters had already addressed the difference in the cases, not least because both clubs faced single charges so could be dealt with quickly, compared to City's 115 complex charges which will naturally need longer to prepare a case for and against.

"They are very different charges," he said at the same committee. “If any club, the current champions or otherwise, had been found in breach of the spending rules, they would be in exactly the same position as Everton or Nottingham Forest.

"But the volume and character of the charges laid before Manchester City, which I obviously cannot talk about at all, are being heard in a completely different environment."

Masters has said a date has been set for the trial, but he is not permitted to disclose when that will be. Reports suggest it will be in the Autumn of this year, with a verdict potentially expected next summer.