Manchester City could escape fines or a point deduction from the Premier League for Financial Fairplay (FFP) breaches due to a loophole, according to Kieran Maguire.
The academic, who works as a lecturer in Accounting and Finance at the University of Liverpool, says City may not exceed the allowed £105m loss for a three-year period even if the accounts are recalculated:
“The crazy thing is that, under the Premier League rules, you’re allowed to lose £105million over the three-year assessment period compared to €30million [under Uefa’s rules]. So we could end up in a ludicrous situation where the Premier League arbitration panel concludes that Manchester City have been in breach of the rules, they then recalculate the numbers, and it works out that City’s losses are £90m over three years. Therefore they’re under the statute in terms for which other punishment applies and they just get a finger-wagging.”
As Maguire points out, the limit is a lot higher than that allowed by UEFA so it will be interesting to see whether the Citizens do actually get punished for inflating sponsorship deals.
The case has been open since March 2019, which is nearly two and a half years, and there is still no indication as to when a verdict will be handed out.
City have previously won a case against UEFA for breaches of FFP regulations at the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS), but it must be pointed out that they were not found innocent of the accusations. The ruling from CAS simply stated that most of the charges levelled against City were “time-barred,” meaning they took place beyond the five-year statutory limit that UEFA has in place for such breaches.