Money makes City's world go round

February 10, 2023 - 13:36
To decipher exactly what rules City have supposedly breached will probably need a Master's Degree in accounting, and as I struggle with simple currency conversions, I'm not really the best person to ask.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola with one of the many trophies he has won. AFP Photo

Paul Kennedy

In the world of professional football, cash is King. And nowhere is this more obvious than in the Premier League where Manchester City, arguably the richest football club on the planet, have as good as dominated the division for the past ten years.

Since 2013, City have won the title five times. If they finish this season on top, that'll be six and three in a row, a feat not achieved since Manchester United won it in 2007, 2008 and 2009. On paper, they probably deserve it as currently, they have the best manager in the world in Pep Guardiola and have consistently bought the best players available.

Of course, having oil-rich owners with pockets as deep as the wells they drill into, sure does help. But that said, the walls could soon come crashing down at the Etihad.

This week, the Premier League charged City with more than 100 alleged financial rule breaches which could lead to a points deduction, massive fine or expulsion from the top flight.

City fans are incandescent with rage, but it must be pointed out that the club strenuously denies the allegations they face, and say will fight tooth and nail to clear its name.

This has sent the football world into a frenzy, as supporters speculate what could, and should, happen to City if they are found guilty of some of the accusations.

To decipher exactly what rules City have supposedly breached will probably need a Master's Degree in accounting, and as I struggle with simple currency conversions, I'm not really the best person to ask.

Breaking it down as easily as possible, the charges relate to financial information regarding revenue, details of manager and player remuneration, UEFA regulations, profitability and sustainability and cooperation with Premier League investigations.

Some of this centres around the fact that the club's owners also own Manchester City's main sponsor, Etihad Airways, and the accusations are that parts of salaries have been paid through different organisations run by City's owners instead of the club themselves.

This will take forever and a day before any conclusions are reached. I read one expert suggesting it could be four years before City are convicted or cleared.

Until then, a black cloud will be hanging over the club with some even suggesting they could be stripped of the previous titles they have won and the trophies awarded to those who came runners-up in those seasons.

From a Liverpool fan's perspective, I don't particularly want that to happen. There will be no real reward to be named champions from the seasons we finished second.

If guilty, I think it is more likely Manchester City will be expelled from the Premier League and relegated to the division below. Let's face facts, if the powers that be decided to fine City, it won't dent their bank account in the slightest.

I'll be the first to admit I'm not the biggest lover of Manchester City fans, but I do kind of feel sorry for them. They are the ones who will suffer the most from any future action and it's not their fault they've found themselves in this situation.

The real test will be if they continue to show their support if City find themselves dropping down a division or two. VNS