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Will Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal be awarded Premier League titles if Man City are stripped of trophies?

Chris Byfield

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Will Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal be awarded Premier League titles if Man City are stripped of trophies?

Manchester City and the Premier League have agreed a date for the club's Financial Fair Play (FFP) trial, and some of their biggest rivals will be keeping a close eye on its outcome.

In February, City were charged with 115 alleged FFP rule breaches over nine years, from the 2009/10 season up to the 2017/18 campaign. The charges include details relating to player and manager remuneration, accuracy of financial information, not cooperating with an investigation, profitability and sustainability, and not handing over documents as required over five seasons from 2018/19 to 2022/23 campaign.

At the time, City said they were "surprised" at the issuing of the alleged breaches, and welcomed the matter being reviewed by an independent commission.

The Daily Mail has reported that the matter will be settled by an independent panel with the date for the trial "initially scheduled for the late autumn of 2024".

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"Those with knowledge of the situation believe that a conclusion may not follow until the end of next season - which is when City boss Pep Guardiola's current contract is due to expire," added the report.

With Everton being deducted 10 points with immediate effect earlier this month for a breach of the Premier League's profit and sustainability rules, attention has already turned to City and what punishment they could face if they are found guilty.

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Sky Sports claimed earlier this year that potential sanctions could include a points deduction, compensation, an order to pay costs, or, in a much harsher punishment, expulsion from the Premier League.

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If a points deduction is indeed applied to the Premier League champions, it is unclear whether it would be awarded solely for the current season or whether it would be done retrospectively across any of the nine seasons the Premier League has been investigating.

Back in 2020, a Daily Mail report claimed that the club could potentially lose their 2014 league title if they were found to have breached UEFA's own FFP rules in a separate investigation by European football's governing body.

City were initially found guilty by UEFA and banned from the Champions League for two seasons, while also being fined €30m (£26m). However, City later won their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which overturned the club's ban from European competition and reduced their fine to €10m (£8.7m).

City have been charged with 115 alleged FFP rule breaches (Image: Getty)
City have been charged with 115 alleged FFP rule breaches (Image: Getty)
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Finance expert Kieran Maguire told Sky Sports earlier this year that it would be "difficult" for rival clubs to prove they had missed out on silverware because of City's alleged breaches - a potential blow for the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United, who have all lost out to City in Premier League title races in recent seasons.

Maguire said: "It will be difficult for another club to say that they lost a title or lost probably more in access to the Champions League."

There is no precedent for teams being stripped of titles in English football's history, yet, in 1990 Swindon Town were charged with 35 cases of illegal payments made to players over a four-year period.

After pleading guilty to the 36 charges brought to them by the Football League and a further 20 infringements relating to financial irregularities the club were denied promotion to the First Division and relegated to the Third Division - reduced to one relegation to the Second Division on appeal.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Arsenal, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Premier League, FFP

Chris Byfield
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