Man City's 115 FFP charges explained as Premier League wait continues

Manchester City's Etihad Stadium
Manchester City's Etihad Stadium -Credit:MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Manchester City supporters are continuing to await their hearing regarding the 115 alleged Financial Fair Play breaches.

The historic rule breaks date back from between 2009 and 2018, when the Blues won the Premier League on three occasions as well as numerous League Cups and FA Cups. The scale of the allegations against City are unprecedented, and they have led to frustration from rival supporters.

Some, like Nottingham Forest and Everton, have argued that their clubs should not face any punishments until City's case has been resolved. Meanwhile, the Blues' rivals at the top of the division argue that City have held an 'unfair advantage' and thus it makes a mockery of the Premier League.

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Amongst all this background noise, City have continued to go about their business and are on track to create history by becoming the first English club to win the top flight on four consecutive occasions. With the FFP charges still dangling over them, MEN Sport has taken a look at the most-asked questions about the case and explained what you need to know.

What are the charges?

We have put together a full list of the charges that face City, here. However, here is a brief summary of exactly what the 115 charges refer to:

  • 54 charges relate to failing to provide accurate financial information between 2009/10 and 2017/18

  • 14 charges relate to failing to provide accurate information on player and manager payments between 2009/10 and 2017/18

  • Five charges relate to failing to comply with UEFA's rules including FFP between 2013/14 and 2017/18

  • Seven charges relate to breaching the Premier League's Profit and Sustainability Rules (PSR) between 2015/16 and 2017/18

  • 35 charges relate to failing to comply with the Premier League's investigations between December 2018 and February 2023

Some of these charges are self-explanatory. But the notable points of contention were outlined in a Der Spiegel report.

It was alleged that City were driving money into the club through fictitious sponsorship packages, paying then-manager Roberto Mancini to act as a consultant to a club in Abu Dhabi and giving players more money than was going through the accounts. These allegations have all been denied robustly by the club.

When could City be punished?

This question is on the lips of everyone in the Premier League. MEN Sport understands the Blues could know the outcome of the charges by the summer of 2025.

By which point, we would have not only completed this season but also next season. This means the punishment would apply to the Premier League season in 2025/26.

Why is it taking so long?

Frustration about how long this is taking is one that Premier League CEO Richard Masters alone must answer. However, his response has been to argue that, due to the complexity of the case against the Blues, it is taking longer to set a date for the hearing.

Masters recently claimed that the hearing will be held 'in the near future' but fell short of naming an exact date.

Why have City not been deducted points?

The answer to this is two-fold. Firstly, City cannot be deducted points until their case has been heard and all the evidence has been presented.

Secondly, as Masters explained when he appeared before the Culture, Media and Sport (CMS) committee earlier this year, the charges against the Blues are not comparable to Forest and Everton. "I can [understand] but they are very different charges," he said.

"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."

What are the punishments City could get?

Due to the unprecedented nature of these charges, it is simply unknown how bad the punishment could be for City if they are found guilty. Considering Everton were docked eight points for lesser breaches, it is expected a points deduction would be astronomical.

Football finance expert Kieran Maguire predicted last year that it could be as much as 30 points. Some have also talked about immediate expulsion from the Premier League.

One unlikely punishment would be a substantial fine, considering the riches at City's disposal.

Could City appeal?

Either City or the Premier League could appeal the decision of the hearing. However, either side would have to make their case for an appeal watertight to prevent any further delay to the process.

What has Guardiola said?

Unsurprisingly, Pep Guardiola has been keen to focus on matters on the pitch rather than off it. He did famously claim that he was more likely to stay at the Etihad Stadium if the club was demoted to League Two or the National League, which is a frightening prospect for the lower league clubs.

He has also urged City not to be labelled guilty before the hearing and insisted he trusts the club when they state they are innocent.