Man City sponsors’ plan deals big twist amid Premier League’s 115 financial charges

Manchester City are facing 115 charges from the Premier League for breaking financial regulations but the club’s owners could potentially navigate the charges with a fresh idea

Man City’s Etihad owners could put their business on the stock exchange(Getty Images)

A plan to float Etihad Airways on the stock exchange could be good news for Manchester City in their bid to beat the 115 Premier League charges hanging over the club.

The arrangements concerning City’s long-standing sponsorship deal with Etihad forms a significant part of the allegations made against the reigning champions. German publication Der Spiegel claims that the Emirati airline was paying just £8million of their official £67.5million obligation to City – and that the rest was met by disguised equity funding from the club’s Abu Dhabi owners.

That breaks financial regulations put into place by both the Premier League and UEFA – and would also be tantamount to a fraudulent conspiracy being hatched between City’s boardroom bosses and Etihad executives.

Reports in the Middle East have now revealed that the airline is being prepared for an Initial Public Offering. And that process would involve Etihad allowing full disclosure of their accounts.

Stock market insiders believe it’s unlikely that Etihad would be willing to grant unfettered access into their financial affairs and corporate practices if it would uncover a smoking gun to prove fraud had been committed.

“If it came to light that Etihad executives were indeed involved in manipulating the sponsorship deal with City, it could cause serious damage to the company’s reputation in the eyes of potential investors,” said a senior figure in the investment banking industry. Etihad would also have an obligation to disclose any ongoing investigation into the company’s accounts or conduct before the IPO was launched.

“What the Premier League are alleging is extremely serious, not just in terms of football’s rules and regulations. The accusation is that City executives have colluded with officials from Etihad and have lied not only to the club’s independent auditors but to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are facing 115 charges from the Premier League(Getty Images)

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