FFP trouble as Manchester City will face hearing on 115 alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules

Richard Masters says Manchester City are set to face a hearing for their 115 alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules in the ‘near future’.

The Premier League CEO confirmed earlier this year that a date had been set for the hearing but did not reveal when it would take place.

With the current Premier League season edging towards a conclusion, there has finally been some movement, more than a year after they were charged.

‘We can’t comment on the case, the date is set,’ Masters said. ‘The case will resolve itself at some point in the near future. I can’t make any further comment on it.’

City have always strongly denied any wrongdoing while fans are confused as to why Everton and Nottingham Forest have been punished for lesser offences first.

The Premier League have argued that the City case is different because of the depth, scale and complexity of the 115 charges against them.

Logistically, the City case is a lot more time-consuming and it will take far longer than Everton and Forest to reach a potential punishment verdict.

What is Financial Fair Play (FFP) and what punishments do clubs face for breaking the rules?

The Premier League, Football League and UEFA all have their own set of regulations governing club finances, which fall under the umbrella term of FFP.

The most recognised set of regulations are from UEFA, who first implemented FFP ahead of the start of the 2011/12 season.

Under UEFA’s initial regulations, clubs were not permitted to spend more than €5m (£4.2m) of what they earnt over a three year rolling period, or €30m (£25m) if the owner was able to cover the losses.

In 2022, new rules were approved by UEFA stating that by 2025, a club’s total expenditure on transfers, wages and agent fees must not exceed 70 per cent of its total revenue.

Clubs will be allowed to lose €60m (£53.6m) over a three year period, with an extra €10m (£8.9m) annual loss permitted if the club is deemed to be ‘in good financial health’.

Expenditure on infrastructure, training facilities and youth development are not included in the FFP formula.

The Premier League has its own financial framework, which prevents clubs from paying substantially more than they earn.

Premier League clubs must also submit accounts annually, disclose all payments made to agents and pay transfer fees, salaries and tax bills on time.

City were charged with breaking financial rules over a nine-year period from 2009 to 2018 and allegedly didn’t provide accurate financial information.

Speaking back in January, Premier League CEO Masters said: ‘Yes, I can [understand frustration from supporters about the length of time over the probe].

‘I can but they are very different charges, that’s all I’d say. If any club, whether they’re the current champions or otherwise, had been found in breach of spending rules for year 2023 they would be in exactly the same position as Everton or Nottingham Forest.

‘But the volume and character of the charges laid before Man City, which I obviously cannot talk about at all, are being heard in a completely different environment.

‘There is a date set for that proceeding, unfortunately I can’t tell you when that is but that is progressing.’

Jamie Carragher suggested back in October that City could find themselves relegated all the way down to the National League North if they are eventually punished.

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