Man City rivals disprove latest excuse being readied for 115 charges

Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag pictured before Manchester United's clash with Chelsea
Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag pictured before Manchester United's clash with Chelsea -Credit:Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Before the hearing into the Premier League's accusations against Manchester City has taken place, the groundwork for potential outcomes is already being prepared.

City made headlines when the charges were announced for paying through the nose for leading lawyer David Pannick KC to represent them. Some daftly took this to presume their guilt, coming from the same school of non-thought that the club should just 'show their evidence' to prove their innocence.

Even now, the fact that City are being represented by some of the best in the industry is being used to suggest they will beat the charges not by proving their innocence but by spending money. Speaking on radio station talkSPORT, host Simon Jordan suggested that City's funds for representation would be greater than the Premier League could afford and that 'very often' the person with the most money gets the best outcome.

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It can certainly be the case that financial disparity can have a decisive say in a courtroom just as it can a football pitch, but in both cases there needs to be perspective. If either were decided solely on who spent the most, there would be no point or interest in them.

The difference is in scale. You could feasibly say that Luton and Burnley haven't spent enough to compete with City for the title but you couldn't say that for Chelsea, United, Arsenal, or Liverpool. In fact, Chelsea and United have spent significantly more over the last five years so if money were the key factor they would have the last five league titles between them rather than zero.

It is undeniable that City are spending big money on their legal team for the Premier League charges (as anyone probably would if it was the difference between them staying in the Premier League to compete for trophies or being kicked down the divisions) and Lord Pannick from the top firm Blackstone Chambers represents a formidable choice to lead their defence. So who have the Premier League been able to afford to try and compete? Adam Lewis KC, from... the very same Blackstone Chambers.

Further KCs will assist both sides, and The Lawyer magazine reports that another top law firm, Bird and Bird, is also doing work for the Premier League. Regardless of which side has spent more, there is no question that both sides have spent enough to ensure they are not disadvantaged by their representation in the hearing; as City fan and former advisor to the club Stefan Borson responded to Jordan on the radio: "This is not David and Goliath, this is the Premier League and Manchester City."

Nobody knows what the outcome of the hearing will be, but if it does end up favourable to City it absolutely won't be because they threw more money at the case than the Premier League could compete with.