- The organizing body of the top-level English men's league said this included its rule that clubs must provide it with accurate financial information representing a "true and fair view of the club's financial position," particularly relating to revenue.
- This was alleged to have been breached in each season from 2009-10 to 2017-18.
LONDON — The English Premier League on Monday announced it has referred soccer club Manchester City to an independent commission over alleged breaches of its financial rules.
The organizing body of the top-level men's league said this included its rule that clubs must provide it with accurate information representing a "true and fair view of the club's financial position," particularly relating to revenue.
This was alleged to have been breached in each season from 2009-10 to 2017-18.
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The Premier League also claimed the club had failed in its duty to provide full details of manager remuneration, during the 2009-10 to 2011-12 seasons, and on player remuneration, from the 2010-11 season to 2015-16 season.
It further alleged the club had failed to cooperate or assist with its investigations into the matter over the last four years; and had breached Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations between 2013 and 2018.
A commission will be held in private, with members appointed by the chair of the Premier League Judicial Panel.
The club told the BBC in a statement: "Manchester City is surprised by the issuing of these alleged breaches of the Premier League Rules, particularly given the extensive engagement and vast amount of detailed materials that the [English Premier League] has been provided with."
"The club welcomes the review of this matter by an independent commission, to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence that exists in support of its position. As such we look forward to this matter being put to rest once and for all."
Dan Harraghy, senior analyst at Ampere Analysis, said it was a period where soccer club finances were particularly under the spotlight, from the proposed sales of Liverpool and Manchester United to the recent record-breaking transfer window.
A government review covering club ownership and funding sources, which is expected to recommend an independent regulator, was due to be published Wednesday but was delayed on Monday for up to two weeks.
Manchester City's "commercial revenues more than quadrupled in the time frame assessed by the Premier League, growing faster than any of the other 'Big Six' clubs in that period – although City will be keen to note that results on the pitch meant that the club grew from a mid-table team in 2008/2009 to one of the world's best and most well-known," Harraghy said by email.
The Premier League may see the commission as an opportunity to show it can keep clubs in line without the need for an independent regulator, he added, and to inflict a sanction to deter other clubs from breaching financial regulations.
Manchester City is owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan through his Abu Dhabi-registered firm Newton Investment and Development LLC, the majority shareholder in holding company City Football Group.
In 2022, the club won the Premier League for the fourth time in the last five years.
A spokesperson for Manchester City was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.