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SportsMan City's 115 charges: New evidence emerge likely to affect treble winners

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Man City’s 115 charges: New evidence emerge likely to affect treble winners

Man City’s upcoming trial concerning their 115 Financial Fair Play (FFP) charges may face implications due to new revelations involving the club’s sponsors.

The 2023 Treble winners are accused of breaching FFP regulations on multiple occasions, with Etihad Airways reportedly playing a significant role in these breaches.

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According to German outlet Der Spiegel (via The Mirror), it is alleged that the Emirati airline only paid £8 million ($10.1m) of their £67.5m ($85.3m) obligation to City, with the remainder covered by disguised equity funding from the club’s owners.

However, recent reports suggest that these claims may not hold true following Etihad Airways’ decision to go public by floating on the stock exchange.

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Sources in the Middle East, as cited in The Mirror, indicate that this move would necessitate an Initial Public Offering (IPO) for Etihad, requiring full disclosure of their financial records and corporate practices.

Stock market experts believe that such transparency would not be offered if Etihad, and consequently City’s owners, had anything to conceal.

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In essence, if fraud had indeed occurred, as has been suggested, it is unlikely that Etihad would willingly subject itself to such scrutiny.


A senior figure in the banking industry is quoted in The Mirror’s article as saying: “If it came to light that Etihad executives were indeed involved in manipulating the sponsorship deal with City, it could cause serious damage to the company’s reputation in the eyes of potential investors. Etihad would also have an obligation to disclose any ongoing investigation into the company’s accounts or conduct before the IPO was launched.

“What the Premier League is alleging is extremely serious, not just in terms of football’s rules and regulations. The accusation is that City executives have colluded with officials from Etihad and have lied not only to the club’s independent auditors but to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

“By extension, that also calls into question what information was disclosed by City’s owners to Silverlake before the American private equity firm bought a significant stake in the club in 2019. That’s why the Premier League’s allegations go way beyond accusing City of failing to meet Profit and Sustainability Rules.”


The Premier League champions persist in asserting their innocence, believing that this evidence will significantly bolster their defense against the 115 charges leveled against them. The trial to investigate City’s alleged misconduct is tentatively scheduled for late autumn of this year, at the earliest.

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