Man City chairman calls for Premier League change to spending limits & makes 115 charges admission

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Khaldoon Al Mubarak has conducted his annual end-of-season interview and said the Premier League’s regulations could stunt its long-term growth.

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has called on the Premier League to apply more ‘sensibility’ regarding its spending regulations, just a day after reports emerged that the club have brought legal proceedings against the league.

The Profit and Sustainability Rules (PSR) implemented by the English top flight have limited spending for several clubs in recent windows, with the January 2024 market notable for a lack of major moves. Erik ten Hag was among the managers to bemoan his side’s inability to bring in a new striker due to financial limitations in January.

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Meanwhile, teams such as Manchester United, Aston Villa, Newcastle United and Chelsea’s summer spending will be influenced by their ability to sell star names. Al Mubarak has said a more ‘balanced approach’ is needed to ensure the Premier League maintains its competitive advantage over the likes of La Liga, Serie A and the Bundesliga.

“I think the Premier League got to where it is today by being the most competitive league. So, I hope there is a bit more sensibility in regulating,” the 48-year-old said in his annual end-of-season interview. 

“Always a balanced approach is good from all the leagues, be it in England or the rest of Europe. I think you won’t see the same level as we’ve seen in the last years, because of the levels of regulations that have come into place over the last 12 months.”

“I think the level of manoeuvrability that was in place before that allowed teams to do what they were able to do in the past, I think, is much more restricted this year and that’s going to be reflected, I believe, this summer,” he added.

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Al Mubarak’s remarks come a day after City have brought historic legal action against the Premier League - although the interview took place last week before the report emerged. According to the Times, the champions are claiming the league’s Associated Party Transaction (APT) rules are unlawful and ‘stifle competition’.

The report claims City also are disputing the league’s fair market value rules relating to any commercial deal over £1m and are suing for a loss of earnings. The club are also alleging that the APT rules discriminate against team with ties to the Gulf region, while are seeking to end the league’s two-third majority vote to implement any law changes, which they state has resulted in a ‘tyranny’ that punishes the minority.

Regardless of the outcome of City’s hearing against the Premier League, the message is clear that the eight-time champions want greater financial flexibility. 

Meanwhile, the case could also have an impact on the 115 charges brought against the club by the Premier League in February 2023. City deny those allegations and strenuously insist they are innocent of the charges which relate to financial irregularity.

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Speaking in his interview, Al Mubarak said the case is taking longer than expected and said he hoped the club are ‘judged on facts’ and added he finds it frustrating that opposition fans reference the charges in response to City’s success.

“Of course, it’s frustrating. I think the referencing is always frustrating. Having it being talked about the way it’s being talked about,” he said. “I can feel for our fanbase, and everyone associated with the club, to have these charges constantly referenced.

“I think we as a club have to respect that there is a process that we have to go through, and we’re going through it. It’s taking longer than what anyone hoped for, but it is what it is, and I’ve always repeated, let’s be judged by the facts, and not by claims and counterclaims.”

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