Manchester City have lost their appeal to stop details of the Premier League’s Financial Fair Play investigation against them being released.
The governing body of English football opened a case to investigate accusations of financial irregularities published in Der Spiegel, which resulted in UEFA banning the Premier League outfit from European football for two seasons.
Man City appealed against the decision and the case was subsequently thrown out last year, with the English champions receiving a reduced €10m fine for a lack of cooperation throughout the investigation.
Despite UEFA dropping its investigation, the Premier League has continued conducting their own, which they began in December 2018. However, Man City responded by disagreeing with the jurisdiction of the commission put in charge of the case, arguing a lack of impartiality.
Consequently, the league changed its rules relating to disciplinary hearings in February 2020, and four months later, they rejected the Citizens’ claims over the commission and impartiality. The club then turned to the commercial court for support, but they rejected the appeal in March 2021.
The commercial court’s decision meant Man City would have to face the league’s own arbitration tribunal, while the judge also rejected the club’s requests to keep the findings of the investigation private.
The conflict eventually went to the Court of Appeal, where the decision to publish the findings of the inquest was upheld. Man City released a statement on the matter, insisting that they ‘respect the decision of the Court of Appeal.’
“We respect the decision of the Court of Appeal regarding the arbitration matter,” the statement read.
“This decision relates to ongoing proceedings and we are obviously not in a position to provide comment until those proceedings are complete.”
Lord Justice Males was in favour of the information being published, criticising the club for their lack of cooperation and the subsequent slow pace of the investigation, as cited by the Daily Mail.
“The club has been anxious to emphasise before us that ‘the arbitral proceedings relate to an ongoing and confidential investigatory and disciplinary process which is still in its early stages’, and that it may be that no charges will ever be brought against it.
“While that may be true, it seems to me that this is, if anything, a factor which tells in favour of publication.
“This is an investigation which commenced in December 2018. It is surprising, and a matter of legitimate public concern, that so little progress has been made after two and a half years – during which, it may be noted, the club has twice been crowned as Premier League champions.”