New PL Commercial rule passed (pg4) | City rumoured to be questioning the legality


The Premier League is facing a fresh battle over changes to rules governing commercial deals between related parties after it was warned by a club that the proposals were unlawful.

Sky News has learnt that the 20 top-flight clubs, which include Arsenal, Brentford, Chelsea and Manchester United, were notified on Thursday that one of them had informed the Premier League that it could resort to arbitration proceedings to prevent the changes being adopted.

The so-called associated-party transaction (APT) rules are intended to ensure a level playing field among English football's elite teams by preventing clubs from signing commercial deals at inflated prices, thereby enabling them to spend even greater sums on players.

There was speculation on Friday that Manchester City, which is already facing 115 charges of breaching Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules, was the club which had objected to the reforms.

It is understood to have told the Premier League that the changes were unlawful in English competition law, paving the way for yet another legal battle involving the game at a time when it is under intense political pressure with an independent regulator looming.

Manchester City, which is owned by Abu Dhabi sovereign investors, have previously expressed its opposition to tighter APT rules.

Their stadium is named after Etihad, the Gulf state's flagship airline, and is said to have been among those voting against restrictions on loan signings between clubs with common ownership during a ballot on the issue in November.

The issue of related-party deals has become increasingly important to many clubs because they believe the competitive balance of the Premier League is being distorted by state ownership at rivals including Manchester City and Newcastle United.

Questions have also been raised about the value of Chelsea's one-year shirt sponsorship deal with Infinite Athlete, given the club failed to qualify for Europe this season.

The latest threat to seek arbitration proceedings underlines the increasingly fractured relationship between the Premier League and a number of its clubs, and between the clubs themselves.

So the US owned Red Top Mafia having American based sponsorship is perfectly fine, but Manchester City having Abu Dhabi based sponsorship is unfair & killing the game?

Seriously? What the actual fuck!! Their piss-taking has gone to new stratospheric levels. They hate us that much, they're prepared to kill the Premier League to stop us.

If the Red Top Mafia can't dominate the Premier League, they'd rather burn it down so no one else can. UnFuckinBelievable
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We need more lawyers.


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