Too painful: Manchester City relegated from Premier League next season as they loose 115 charges against them today 

Too painful: Manchester City relegated from Premier League next season as they loose 115 charges against them today 



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There are 115 reasons why Man City should be relegated to League Two – they have no integrity and there will always be a ‘but’ against Pep Guardiola

Mark Goldbridge, talkSPORT presenter



Even without 115 charges against them, there is no integrity to what Man City are doing.


I hate to say it, but I personally feel a bit sorry for the club because I think they’re quite deluded in their quest for integrity.



Pep Guardiola has guided Manchester City to a record four consecutive English top-flight titles

Pep Guardiola has guided Manchester City to a record four consecutive English top-flight titlesCredit: Getty

I don’t think they’ll ever get it, and I don’t think it’s just because of the 115 charges, although that obviously has caused a problem.


If they are found not guilty of financial irregularity, charges which City strongly deny, I don’t think the court of public opinion would ever move past it anyway.


It’s the Premier League that’s charged them, it’s the Premier League that thinks they’ve done 115 things wrong.



We all know you can go to court and get cleared, but people will still go, ‘Yeah, well there’s no smoke without fire’. I think that will always be there for them.



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Whether that happens or not, the problem with Man City is the way they became successful is now closed off for other people. Newcastle could do what Man City did, but Financial Fair Play (FFP) now has teeth.



So Man City’s problem is they are a juggernaut, they’re almost winning on a cheat code.


The way they generate money legitimately and the way they run the club so well now – they’re so powerful in the transfer market, they’ve got an amazing squad and they’ve got the best of everything, and no other club can get near that.



I think there’s this perception around Man City that no matter how good they are, people will just go, ‘Yeah but they’re that good because they were able to do what they did for the last 15 years’.



City cruised to the treble last campaign – winning their first Champions League titleCredit: Getty


Erling Haaland has won the Premier League Golden Boot for the second season runningCredit: Getty

The Citizens’ 115 charges against them will also see fans question the legitimacy of their successCredit: Getty


That’s a problem for the Premier League. My biggest concern is that Man City are so good that they’re winning the league year after year and we’re almost becoming the French league like PSG – that’s terrible for ‘brand Premier League’.


So in a sense I feel a bit sorry for Man City because – alright, we’ll find out if they did wrong – but regardless of that, they’re still in this position year on year where they’re massively better than everybody else because they’re massively more powerful, and I don’t think people respect that.




Jurgen Klopp takes parting shots at Chelsea, Manchester City’s 115 charges and Manchester United at farewell Liverpool event

They’re always going to be battling that. You can see Pep Guardiola is desperate for that adoration, which he probably does deserve, but there’s always that big ‘but’ there.


We don’t know if they’re going to be found guilty, but if they are, these charges will basically be the cause of the dominance that we’re now witnessing… we’re talking multiple Premier League titles, six in seven years, a treble – which my club legitimately did win in 1999.



The punishment – if found guilty – has to be severe. I remember in 2012 Rangers being relegated down the divisions in Scotland, so I’d put Man City in League Two.


NOTE: Rangers were demoted to the bottom tier of the Scottish Football League in 2012, but that was due to the club being liquidated over a debt crisis. Rather than a takeover happening to keep the Gers afloat, they instead had to reform as a new club and start from scratch in the Third Division – the fourth tier of Scottish football. They were back in the Premiership by 2016 and in 2021 won their first top flight title since the club’s insolvency.


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I don’t think fines really work in this situation. Why would you fine somebody who has been successful because they’re well off?


It doesn’t make any sense, and points deduction only hurts them for one year.



It depends on what they’ve done, but if we’re going to say that what they’ve done is create this dynasty that’s gone on for years, then the punishment has to go on for years, too.


So I would drop them into League Two and say: ‘Crack on’.


Man City FFP allegations – what are the charges?

Some 15 months ago, Man City were hit with 115 breaches of Premier League regulations – but it should be pointed out not all relate to financial issues. They are:


• 54x Failure to provide accurate financial information 2009/10 to 2017/18.


• 14x Failure to provide accurate details for player and manager payments from 2009/10 to 2017/18.



• 5x Failure to comply with Uefa’s rules including Financial Fair Play (FFP) 2013/14 to 2017/18.


• 7x Breaching Premier League’s PSR rules 2015/16 to 2017/18.


• 35x Failure to cooperate with Premier League investigations December 2018 – February 2023.


The allegations over Man City’s finances were highlighted in leaked material published by German newspaper Der Spiegel, and are alleged to go back to 2009.


Man City have strongly denied all charges, and have said the leaked emails published by Der Spiegel were obtained illegally.



Could Man City be relegated?

The disciplinary commission hearing the case has unlimited power, in the case of dishing out punishment.


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That means it is a possibility the club could be kicked out of the Premier League, with other possible sanctions including heavy fines and points deductions.


However, any punishment would require a guilty verdict, and Man City are arguing they are innocent and there should be no action taken.



Manchester CityPep Guardiola


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