Despite the club denying the allegations as they did with the previous UEFA sanctions, eventually having their two-year ban overturned and the fine reduced by two-thirds, they cannot appeal the decision through the same means as last time and it looks increasingly likely that at least some charges will stick.
That being said, there a numerous steps that the Premier League, FA and other governing football bodies could take next if they are found guilty of even a portion of the offences.
Here are some possible options being suggested at present:
What action could be taken against Manchester City?
The first and most obvious ramification for their alleged financial infractions is a simple fine: typically the most common outcome whenever clubs find themselves in hot water when it comes to rule breaches.
When they were alleged to have gone beyond UEFA’s FFP regulations back in February 2020, they were initially slapped with a £30 million fine before it was eventually reduced to £10m not long after.
However, given the length and severity of this latest raft of accusations — at least a century of offences for nearly a decade — any penalt(ies) would likely result in a much more considerable total sum or even compensation paid to other clubs.
2. Points deduction
One of the most popular suggestions thus far is that City should suffer a points deduction in the current 2022/23 season, not unlike the action recently taken against Juventus for also failing to declare the full truth about the nature of their finances.
The Italian giants were docked 15 points for “false accounting” and could even face a further 20-point bombshell for “undeclared wage payments” to players and other members of staff thought to date back to at least March 2020.
City are accused of similar during Roberto Mancini’s tenure, the man who helped them lift their first Premier League title, as well as with members of their squad in at least two seasons, including as recently as the 2015/16 campaign.
Once again, the supposed offences committed at the Etihad are said to date from 2009 to at least 2018, when the club “stopped cooperating” with the inquiry. If the independent commission find evidence to punish for this period and perhaps beyond, it’s hard to say if points alone would be sufficient enough.
3. Stripped of titles
Alternatively, another possibility is that the now six-time Premier League winners could be stripped of every single one of their titles since their 2008 takeover, meaning the narrative of the last few years would look very different indeed:
While obviously a more severe choice, it is perfectly plausible — especially when considering Juventus once again, who were also hit with this punishment back in 2006 after the ‘Calciopoli’ scandal which saw them stripped of their previous two titles due to match-fixing, pressuring officials and more.
Given that the charges lobbied against City are strictly related to the Premier League, it would be unlikely that any of their other trophies won over the nine-year period in question would be rescinded, but you never know; the inquiry could spark further investigation.
4. Relegation/expulsion from the Premier League
While many have mooted that they feel the Blues should be issued with a ban from the competition — the length of which could be significant given the prolonged offending period and for football fans to make peace with potentially 9-14 years of financial wrongdoings.
However, circling back to the Juventus example once more, the ‘Old Lady’ was also relegated to Serie B (the Italian second division) for the first time in their history after Calciopoli. If that was the judgement for two years of breaches, what sort of punishment would fit City after nearly a decade, maybe more?
Keeping that in mind, it has also been suggested that the club could be expelled from the league. Though a permanent expulsion would be extremely improbable, with this course of action by far the most brutal, the problem again is deciding how long to expel/suspend them and whether to do so immediately or for the following season(s). Again, this is the most unlikely outcome of them all.
While this list is obviously not exhaustive, Sky Sports shared a graphic on social media the various steps the commission could seek as Manchester City’s punishment.
Moreover, as alluded to earlier, City cannot appeal CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) like they did last time according the current Premier League regulations. This means that, in theory, whatever the commission finds and the league ultimately says goes.
You can see the full list of charges levelled against Manchester City HERE.
What punishment do you think would be suitable for Manchester City’s litany of FFP breaches?
Ben Foster reveals he’s being paid ‘literally peanuts’ to play for Wrexham AFC
We refuse to believe any UK football fan didn’t let out a little smile upon hearing the news that Ben Foster came out of retirement to re-sign for Wrexham AFC nearly 20 years on from his first spell.
The 39-year-old goalkeeper called time on his playing days at the end of last season after slowly moving towards becoming a squad player-come-YouTuber over the past few years and having already enjoyed a long and successful career.
However, following a nudge from the coach and celebrity owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, he was convinced to lace up his boots once more and the former United, Stoke, West Brom and Watford man will now be playing between the sticks at the Racecourse Ground until the end of the season.
To make things even more wholesome, the Premier League veteran has confessed that transfer talks didn’t last long, confessing on his YouTube and Spotify show, the Fozcast: “To be honest, the negotiations took about five minutes”, adding that he’s been paid “literally peanuts”.
Nevertheless, Foster admitted that he doesn’t need much money after such a great career up and down the football pyramid and while “things changed a lot since [he] was last here”, he said, “it’s nice to be back” and labelled manager Phil Parkinson “top class”.
Parkinson, an EFL journeyman himself, had similarly complimentary words for the seasoned keeper, stating: “We’re delighted to welcome Ben to the club. With Rob Lainton getting injured at the weekend, it was important we had all bases covered going into the last part of the season, which this signing ensures.”
The ex-England international first played for Wrexham back in 2005 when he was loaned out by Stoke City and went on to win the EFL Trophy — his first-ever piece of silverware. Now he’s back to help them finally get out of the National League (currently three points clear at the top with a game in hand).
As for his expectations for the season, he said the goal is simple: “getting the team over the line and getting them promoted”, adding “I’m a very low-maintenance player. Just wheel me out, I’ll do a job.” Now that’s the kind of attitude we can get behind.
Speaking to talkSPORT after the sudden move, he revealed that the whole deal felt just as out of the blue for him too, detailing how he got a call from the manager after a bike ride one day and, before he knew it, he’d given them the thumbs up.
Shedding some light on his discussions with the Hollywood owners, he said that Reynolds “actually slid into [his] DMs” once the agreement had been confirmed, joking: “I’m buzzing I’ve got Ryan Reynolds in there, I ain’t even replied to him! I’ll leave him hanging for a bit!”
He went on to admit that he actually approached him first, messaging, “I used to play for Wrexham and if you’re ever available for a podcast I’d love you to come.” Thankfully, he finally responded, saying: “Mate, sorry I didn’t reply. I’ll definitely do the podcast with you, thank you for signing.”
That Deadpool episode is going to be a great watch… You can see him talking about the surprise transfer in full on his YouTube channel down below:
Shoppers are immediately greeted by a DJ booth, a mirrored ceiling and rack after rack of sportswear.
Brands including Adidas, Nike and Puma are all stocked, as expected, alongside other Frasers Group brands like Jack Wills and USC.
Game has a huge presence up on the top floor, where shoppers can also get their clothing purchases customised.
Click or swipe through the gallery below to see more from Manchester’s new Sports Direct store
There’s kit on sale for every sport from hiking to running to skateboarding to hockey to cycling to fishing to boxing to tennis to rugby to golf to swimming, plus a huge astroturfed area dedicated to football.
In the football zone, you can try on a massive range of football boots while sitting in dugout-inspired seats, with rival mannequins dressed in City and United kits propped up on rotating plinths.
It’s not just about the shopping in here either. Sports Direct has brought a whole load of interactive games and challenges to Manchester.
You can test your golf skills at a Putting Challenge, flex your footwork at a miniature sit-down football pitch, and show off your upper body strength by doing dead hangs from a bar for as long as possible.
The bra studio features a unique multi-brand bra finder tool, which can suggest the right size and shape for your sport, whatever brand you go for.
Sports Direct’s Chief Executive Michael Murray said: “Manchester is a significant location for the group, and we’re excited to be opening our next flagship in the city.”
The huge new Sports Direct store in the Manchester Arndale is open now.