Former Manchester City Financial Adviser Warns of Relegation Threat Amidst Ongoing FFP Charges
Stefan Borson, who previously served as an advisor at the Etihad, spoke on talkSPORT, revealing that if the charges are proven, relegation could be the least of the club's concerns. The allegations, involving 115 breaches of financial regulations, are described as being on a "completely different scale" compared to other clubs in the league.
Unprecedented Charges and Potential Relegation:
Manchester City has been under investigation since 2018, and in February, the Premier League officially charged the club with 115 alleged breaches of financial regulations. Throughout the ongoing saga, both the league and the club have maintained silence, declining to comment on the matter. Stefan Borson, shedding light on the gravity of the situation, asserted that the charges go beyond the typical financial discrepancies seen in football and could lead to relegation.
The Scale of Allegations:
Borson highlighted the unprecedented scale of the charges against Manchester City, emphasizing that the allegations involve a conspiracy spanning a decade. The accusations suggest that the club's main sponsorship agreements, initially reported at £50-60 million, were, in fact, only £8 million. Borson stated that the entire situation was a sham, involving deceit from various executives across multiple companies associated with the club. If proven, these allegations could lead to serious consequences, impacting the club's standing not just in the Premier League but on a broader scale.
Serious Implications of Alleged Misconduct:
The former financial adviser underscored the seriousness of the allegations, pointing out that City is accused of lying to multiple parties, including professionals conducting due diligence on the club, the league, UEFA, and the Football Association. Borson stated that if proven, these charges could have far-reaching consequences, with the club facing severe penalties for dishonesty and misconduct over an extended period.
Challenges of Proving the Charges:
Borson expressed skepticism about the likelihood of the charges being proven, citing the challenge of presenting cogent proof to an independent commission. He also questioned the feasibility of such widespread dishonesty occurring over a ten-year period, involving numerous individuals connected to the club. While acknowledging the serious nature of the allegations, Borson suggested that City might successfully clear their name due to the difficulty in establishing concrete evidence for such claims.
Timeline and Potential Delays:
City's showdown with the Premier League is tentatively scheduled for the late autumn of 2024, according to reports from November. However, insiders suggest that a conclusion might not be reached until the end of the following season, possibly coinciding with Pep Guardiola's contract expiration. The confidential process is currently in the stage of taking statements from witnesses, and a verdict, if the trial proceeds as scheduled, could be expected around the summer of 2025. Delays in the proceedings could further extend the timeline, potentially leading to appeals from either party.
Premier League's Confirmation and Ongoing Secrecy:
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters recently confirmed that a hearing date has been set for City's alleged 115 rule breaches. However, details about when the hearing will take place remain undisclosed. The highly confidential nature of the process has involved taking statements from witnesses, a stage expected to continue until the spring of the coming year. The lack of transparency surrounding the ongoing proceedings adds to the intrigue and uncertainty surrounding one of the most significant financial investigations in English football history.
As Manchester City grapples with the weight of 115 alleged breaches of financial regulations, the potential consequences loom large, with relegation mentioned as a possibility. The unprecedented scale of the charges and the complexity of proving such allegations raise questions about the future of the club. The timeline of the trial, potential delays, and the looming uncertainty over appeals add layers of complexity to an already intricate situation. Football fans and pundits alike await further developments in this high-stakes financial fair play saga, with the future of one of the Premier League's leading clubs hanging in the balance.