Manchester City drag Premier League to court over discrimination claims

Manchester City drag Premier League to court over discrimination claims

Manchester City has initiated an unexpected legal action against the Premier League, alleging ‘discrimination’ in relation to the club’s ownership.

The move, which is unprecedented, has reportedly sparked a ‘civil war’ among Premier League clubs.

The lawsuit is focused on the Associated Party Transaction (APT) regulations, which Manchester City contends are ‘unlawful’.

These regulations were implemented subsequent to the Saudi-supported takeover of Newcastle in 2021, with the aim of ensuring equitable competition by preventing clubs from artificially inflating commercial agreements with entities associated with their proprietors.

These agreements are required to undergo impartial evaluation to verify that they are in line with market value.

Manchester City contends that these regulations were formulated to stifle their achievements and constitute ‘discrimination’ according to their interpretation of a ‘tyranny of the majority.’

They are seeking the elimination of the APT regulations, asserting that they unfairly single out the financial operations of the club.

According to talkSPORT, a two-week arbitration session is slated to commence next week, with the other 19 Premier League clubs extended invitations to partake in the legal procedures.

Up to 12 clubs have already confirmed their support for the Premier League’s defense by means of witness testimonies or written correspondence.

If Manchester City emerges victorious in this legal battle, it could pave the way for them and other affluent clubs to secure sponsorship agreements without the necessity of independent assessments, potentially leading to a boost in revenue and subsequently, their transfer budgets.

Nevertheless, this development has not been well received by other clubs, who have expressed concerns to rival clubs regarding the possible repercussions on competitive equilibrium within the league.

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Chelsea and Newcastle have also voiced opposition to the APT regulations, citing shared interests in sponsorship matters with Manchester City.

Noteworthily, Manchester City’s sponsors encompass Etihad Airways, Etisalat, and Experience Abu Dhabi, all of which are connected to the club’s ownership.

It is important to highlight that this legal action is distinct from the ongoing scrutiny faced by Manchester City, involving 115 allegations of breaching financial fair play regulations, with a hearing scheduled for November.

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