The Premier League’s case against Man City for allegedly breaching their financial fair play rules 115 TIMES ‘could take FOUR YEARS to reach a verdict’, according to one of Britain’s leading lawyers
A leading sports lawyer has predicted that the case brought against Manchester City by the Premier League could take up to four years to resolve.
City have been charged with more than 100 breaches of financial rules — allegations they are confident of defending.
City responded swiftly, making it clear that they wanted to challenge the allegations as they insisted they ‘look forward to this matter being put to rest once and for all.’
A legal battle is now set to commence, with City already hiring renowned barrister Lord Pannick KC to lead their defence team.
Nick De Marco KC, who successfully represented Mike Ashley when he attempted to sell Newcastle United, said on Twitter: ‘Delighted to see so many of my brilliant colleagues on both sides of this huge case, though wondering who will appear as my opponent in all the other big sport cases for the next four years.’
Man City chiefs have denied any wrongdoing after being charged with breaching the Premier League’s financial fair play rules more than 100 times
Leading sports lawyer Nick De Marco believes the Premier League’s case against City could last for up to four years
De Marco used his recent experiences with Sheffield Wednesday and Derby County in Financial Fair Play cases to make his four-year estimate.
De Marco told The Times: ‘Having worked on the Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday financial fair play cases, both of which involved two charges over about two years and took about a year and a half from charges to the end, I would not be surprised if these proceedings took considerably longer given there are apparently 115 charges covering a period of 14 years.’
Stefan Borson, who has previously worked with City as a financial advisor, agrees with De Marco’s assessment, even though he does not expect the club to be able to take an appeal through the courts.
‘I think it is unlikely that the club will be able to appeal to the English courts due to the Premier League’s rules requiring its disputes to be dealt with by Commission and arbitration,’ Borson added.
‘The seriousness of these allegations is likely to mean it will be a long time before the disciplinary process can be completed — I would not be at all surprised if it took in excess of two years.
‘Ultimately, I believe it will be very difficult for the Premier League to prove this scale of wrongdoing, but if it does, the consequences for the club and its directors, and, of course, the fans, will be devastating.’
Should City be found guilty of any wrongdoing, they could face significant consequences, including a points deduction or possible expulsion from the Premier League.
However, reports have claimed that City chiefs expect Pep Guardiola to have left the club by the time any potential sanctions are put in place, and the timescale that De Marco has spoken about suggests this could be the case.
Guardiola recently signed a new deal with City to keep him at the Etihad Stadium until 2025.
He may not get a definitive answer on this during his tenure, though, if the legal case lasts until 2027.
City face a points deduction or expulsion from the Premier League if found guilty