Yasin Patel comments on Manchester City’s legal challenge against the Premier League

Yasin Patel FCIArb
By: Yasin Patel FCIArb June 6, 2024

Yasin Patel comments on the news that Manchester City is launching unprecedented legal action against the Premier League over its Associated Party Transaction (APT) rules, in The i Paper.

Manchester City (“MC”) Challenging Associated Party Transaction (“APT”) Rules:

“On the one hand, it can be argued that this is a novel, original and creative argument: on the other, it may be said that it is an act of desperation. MC are in effect stating that there should be no bar as to who sponsors clubs, even if they are linked to owners and what value they give to sponsorship deals.

“If sponsors associated or linked with owners can decide what they believe a sponsorship deal is worth (even if it is a lot higher than the market value), the question is, what is the use or need for Fair Play Rules if a rich sponsor linked to a club owner decides to pay way over the odds. All the other arguments that MC have as supporting arguments are secondary to this key point. It will then mean that any Regulations and Financial Rules will have to be re-written.

“More worryingly for the Premier League will be the number of legal actions from MC, potentially Nottingham Forest, Everton and a whole host of other clubs. In terms of competitiveness of clubs in the Premier League, rich owners and clubs will be able to put in as much money as their sponsors wish to put in.”

115 Breaches of Premier League’s Regulations and Financial Rules:

“If MC are successful in the Arbitration Hearing over the next couple of weeks, then their chances of success in the 115 breaches hearing in November will be increased significantly. Part of MC’s argument is that they do not accept that Nielsen Sports, the data analytics company instructed by the Premier League to determine the fair market value of sponsorship deals have acted independently, nor that their calculations are correct.

“If this is proved correct, then supporting evidence to prove that MC have breached the financial rules will be as useful as a chocolate teapot!”

Yasin’s comments were published in The i Paper, 6 June 2024.

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