Premier League Club Manchester City charged for multiple financial fair play breaches

By Jonathan Santiago, April 18, 2023

Defending Premier League Champions Manchester City Football Club is being charged by the English Premier League for alleged breaches of financial fair play rules. The breaches occurred between the 2009-2010 and 2017-2018 season according to the independent committee in charge of the investigation.

According to ESPN, the Premier League club was charged with over 100 breaches of rules and required to provide accurate financial information that gives a true and fair view of the club’s financial position.

Monetary implications across all sports levels, college and professional, now have questions arise over their own financial structures.

Jackson Gray | The Poly Post

The college landscape was changed after the new NIL policy allowed college athletes to legally receive compensation after approval two years ago.

Before the NIL deal, college athletes could not make money from their name, image or likeness, and any athlete who attempted to was punished. With this new change, Division I schools benefited most since its big names are more likely to attract recruits.

Cal Poly Pomona men’s soccer player Eric Pearce shared his experience playing his freshman season at D1 school UCLA.

“It’s UCLA so it’s a great school, and the facilities are really crazy,” said Pearce. “Cal State teams don’t get as much funding. You get a certain amount of things and make the best you can out of it. At UCLA, you are just given an exodus of tools to help you succeed compared to lower funded schools.”

The training facility that Pearce is referencing is a two floor, state of the art facility with pools, rehabilitation rooms, weight rooms and much more.

Pearce’s sentiment shines a light on the power money can give to an athletic organization.

In 2008, Manchester City was purchased by billionaire Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.  Since the takeover, the club has enjoyed much success winning six Premier League titles while also bolstering some of the biggest pockets on the world stage. As recently as 2021, City broke the British transfer record by signing Jack Grealish for 100 million pounds ($139 million).

Cal Poly Pomona head coach of strength and conditioning Mike Senyospoke on his beliefs about financial influences at the professional and collegiate level.

“In the college setting, those facilities and such are one tool in the recruiting process, but at the end of the day you still have to win,” said Senyo. “Professional sports is completely different than college sports in the sense of what you are able to spend and allocate.”

At the end of the day, winning is the ultimate goal of these teams. Since Manchester City’s takeover in 2008 it has accumulated a lot of silverware, which was the ultimate goal. The club bolsters 13 major domestic trophies.

“It’s almost impossible at the professional level to be able to compete if you don’t have at least close to the same financial backing,” said CPP women’s soccer assistant coach Dan Richards. “It has been done, and Leicester City were an example of that when everything came together.”

Leicester City Football Club won the league during the 2015-2016 season. The club had 5000/1 odds of winning when the season began. The top six clubs in the Premier League have greater spending margins than the rest of the league. It takes a miracle for one of the other 14 teams to compete for a Premier League title, which is exactly what happened to Leicester.

CPP is considered a Division II school. This means that CPP has a particular spending budget and will usually offer a lot of partial scholarships and some full scholarships. This is in contrast to D1 schools that often offer full scholarships to persuade any athlete to choose their program. These D1 schools have massive budgets and incredible facilities.

University of Georgia Athletic Association reported $203 million in revenue between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022 according to OnlineAthens. These seem like ridiculous numbers for a college, but this is how much a winning football program can drive a college’s revenue.

According to College Factual, CPP generated roughly $6 million in total revenue. CPP’s men’s baseball brought in $632,000 total revenue, leading the sports programs. Between CPP and UGA, there is a giant gap in how much the school is able to spend. It should be clear-cut which program would benefit recruits, especially with NIL deals now in place.

Manchester City is now valued at $4.25 billion according to Forbes. It is yet to be seen what the future has in store for the club and whether or not they will be held accountable for these allegations. What cannot be denied is the impact that the club has had on the modern sports world.

Manchester City can be punished with expulsion from the league, point deduction, fees and much more.

There are major monetary gaps that exist between D1 and D2 sports programs and beyond. With the NIL deal, the gap has only grown larger. It seems inevitable that this issue will persist as money continues to be injected into college sports programs.

Feature image by Jackson Gray

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