The Premier League charged Manchester City with 115 counts of financial wrongdoing with Liverpool among the clubs awaiting a verdict.
Manchester City’s former financial advisor Stefan Borson has warned that the club will face relegation if found guilty of over a hundred charges of financial wrongdoing by the Premier League.
Liverpool’s title rivals were last year met with 115 alleged breaches of financial rules. Pep Guardiola’s side have won the league for the last three seasons in a row, denying the Reds top spot by a single point in 2022.
This week, Everton and Nottingham Forest were charged with breaching the Premier League’s Profitability and Sustainability rules. Everton have already lost 10 points for a previous breach of the league’s financial regulations.
Borson suggests that City’s case is far different from those – and greater consequences are in store should City be found guilty. “The scale is on a completely different level [to Everton and Forest],” Borson told talkSPORT.
“There can be no question that this will end in at least relegation – that’s no question, if those charges are proven. There’s a suggestion of conspiracy over effectively a 10-year period.
“They [Premier League] are suggesting that City’s main sponsorship agreements are not for £50-60m but are actually for £8m and the whole thing was a sham.”
“That a whole load of people lied and a whole load of executives from multiple companies were in on it and that the club also lied to multiple other parties. Professionals, people doing due diligence on the company, the league, UEFA, the FA.”
Borson said: “If proven, this is super serious. Nobody would argue with that. City themselves in their submission – I promise you, because they’ve said it to CAS [Court of Arbitration for Sport] – will say this is an allegation of the most serious nature.”
However, the lawyer believes it’s unlikely that City will be found at fault due to sheer number of people accused as part of the alleged breaches. The charges relate to illicit financing and a lack of cooperation between 2009 and 2018, which City deny.
City faced accusations of financial misdeeds by UEFA but had their two-year European ban overturned by CAS in 2020. Borson thinks City will prove their innocence again because the Premier League’s claims are wide-ranging and hard to prove.
He continued: “I think they [City] will clear their name because I think a case of this nature has to have a level of cogent proof, which seems to me to be impossible to present to an independent commission.
“And furthermore, it seems highly unlikely that the conduct that is alleged has taken place over a 10-year period with the sorts of individuals who are involved in the club and in the companies involved.
“It seems highly unlikely and that will be the starting point of any independent commission. It will be a very big call for any quasi court or tribunal to suggest that this number of people have been dishonest and have perjured themselves.
“That will be a massive call for effectively some KCs and maybe a former finance director of a football club to make against not just Manchester City, but against numerous executives, some third-party individuals and potentially senior members of foreign states.
Premier League boss Richard Masters revealed this week that a date has been set for the independent panel hearing about City’s charges. He didn’t share when that would be but national newspaper reports have claimed the proceedings could begin next week in some form.
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