Manchester City have been charged by the Premier League over breaking financial rules across nine seasons, the league announced on Monday.
The Premier League confirmed a number of alleged breaches between the 2009-10 and 2017-18 seasons have been referred to an independent commission following the conclusion of a four-year investigation.
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The statement read: “In accordance with Premier League Rule W.82.1, the Premier League confirms that it has today referred a number of alleged breaches of the Premier League Rules by Manchester City Football Club to a Commission under Premier League Rule W.3.4.”
In response, City issued a statement on Monday that read: “Manchester City FC 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 EPL 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.
City have been charged with more than 100 breaches of rules which required the club, according to the Premier League, to provide “accurate financial information that gives a true and fair view of the club’s financial position”.
City have also been accused of failing to co-operate with the investigation.
The commission will be held in private and can impose open-ended sanctions which could include fines, points deductions or relegation from the Premier League.
City have previously branded the Premier League investigation as “resulting from the illegal hacking and out of context publication of club emails”.
It refers to a report by German outlet Der Spiegel published in November 2018.
In July 2020 City had a two-year suspension from UEFA club competitions overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after initially being found guilty of “serious breaches” of financial fair play regulations between 2012 and 2016.
City were first charged by UEFA in March 2019, prompting the Premier League to launch their own investigation.
In their verdict clearing City, CAS ruled that much of the evidence had fallen outside of a five-year time limit. The Premier League have not been bound by the same limit.
Last season, City won their sixth Premier League title since their takeover in 2008. Roberto Mancini managed the club to a league title in 2011-12 before a Manuel Pellegrini-led City side won the league in 2013-14.
Pep Guardiola has guided the club to three league titles since his appointment in 2016.
They have also won two FA Cup titles and five League Cup trophies since their Abu Dhabi owners City Football Group (CFG) took over the club.
Guardiola’s side sit second in the Premier League table this season, five points behind leaders Arsenal.