Man City make huge Newcastle rules claim after rivals left Amanda Staveley turning the air blue

Manchester City have accused rival clubs of 'safeguarding their own commercial advantages' after they introduced new rules on sponsorship deals following Newcastle United's takeover.

Manchester City's arbitration hearing with the Premier League is set to get under way behind closed doors today after the champions challenged the validity of the top-flight's associated party transaction (APT) regulations. These rules were introduced back in 2021 to ensure all commercial deals with companies associated with clubs' owners were independently assessed to establish they were of fair market value.

Manchester City, according to the Times, have argued within a 165-page legal document that there has been 'discrimination against Gulf ownership' from rival clubs. Manchester City, who separately deny 115 alleged breaches of the top-flight's financial rules, claim that executives brought in these APT regulations after Newcastle's takeover to 'safeguard their own commercial advantages'.

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Eighteen of Newcastle's Premier League rivals voted in favour of the original rules in 2021 to leave Amanda Staveley 'p----- off'. The Newcastle part-owner later went as far as to suggest that clubs do 'everything they can to make sure' the Champions League places are 'available to as few people as possible'.

"Because of the wealth of PIF, obviously, there was a lot of push-back from other clubs," Staveley said in 'We are Newcastle United'. "I think there was a fear that we'd have an unfair advantage."

Top-flight chiefs stressed, off the record, that it had nothing to do with Newcastle and that the APT rules had been in the pipeline for some time, but the speed and timing mid-season was rather telling amid fears the Magpies could land a series of lucrative commercial deals despite being in the middle of a relegation battle at the time. These rules have since been tightened further to, in the words of the Premier League, 'enhance the efficiency and accuracy of the system', which was the trigger for Manchester City's legal action.