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Man City vs. the Premier League in court, reports say

Manchester City Manchester City - The Canadian Press

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester City is reportedly taking legal action against the English Premier League.

It has been reported an arbitration meeting will take place over the legality of the league’s rules regarding commercial revenues from entities linked to clubs' ownership. The rules are designed to ensure any such commercial deals represent “fair market value.”

City is owned by the ruling family of Abu Dhabi and its sponsors include Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways.

The Times says it has seen a 165-page legal document in which City is said to claim it is the victim of “discrimination” over the regulations.

The league's Associated Party Transaction rules were introduced in December 2021 and amendments were agreed last February.

The rules prevent clubs from artificially inflating commercial deals to gain an “unfair advantage over domestic competitors.”

The league said in February the amendments would “further enhance the efficiency and accuracy of the system.” However, they were not unanimously agreed upon.

The arbitration meeting will reportedly last two weeks, starting from Monday.

The Associated Press asked the Premier League and Manchester City for comment.

City has already been accused by the league of more than 100 breaches of its rules, including financial wrongdoing, which the club denies.

In an interview with City's in-house media released on Wednesday, club chairman Khaldoon al Mubarak addressed those charges.

“Of course it’s frustrating, I think the reference is always frustrating. Having it being talked about the way it’s being talked about,” he said. "I can feel, of course, for our fan base, for everyone associated with the club to have these charges constantly referenced.

“We, as a club, have to respect that there’s a process we have to go through and we are going through it. It is taking longer than anyone hoped for, but it is what it is.”

Khaldoon said he wanted City to be “judged by the facts and not by claims and counter claims.”

Premier League clubs will meet for their AGM on Thursday when they will discuss the scrapping of VAR and the introduction of a spending cap.


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