Everton ‘expected to back’ Man City against PL with Newcastle ‘ready to submit documents’

Joe Williams
Man City and Premier League logos
Man City could have the support of Everon and Newcastle in their legal challenge.

Everton are reportedly ‘expected to back’ Man City in their legal challenge against the Premier League, while Newcastle United are ‘ready to submit documents’ in support.

The Times reported on Tuesday that Man City had issued a legal claim challenging the validity of the Premier League’s associated party transaction (APT) rules.

It is understood that the Citizens’ challenge to the APT rules will be aired at an arbitration hearing starting on Monday.

The APT rules are designed to ensure that any commercial deal or player transfer between a club and entities with links to that club’s ownership are conducted at fair market value, so that club revenues are not artificially inflated.

The newspaper says the rules will be challenged under competition law, and that the Premier League has sought the support of other clubs in conducting its defence against the claim.

A successful challenge which declared the APT rules unlawful would give clubs free rein to strike commercial deals without independent oversight. A ruling in Man City’s favour could even have a wider impact on Premier League governance, where rule changes are decided by a majority vote among clubs.

Man City are also preparing to defend themselves against 115 charges laid by the Premier League over alleged breaches of its financial rules.

Christian Smith, a litigation editor and podcast host at The Lawyer, insists that Everton are set to back Man City and their legal case against the Premier League and the APT rules.

Smith said: “Everton are expected to back Manchester City in their legal battle against the Premier League in their case to end the League’s APT rules that allows sponsorship deals with companies owned or associated with the same club’s owners.”

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And Football Insider insist that Newcastle are ‘prepared to submit documents in support of Man City ahead of their arbitration hearing next week’.

The report adds:

‘Sources have told Football Insider that Newcastle United have showed support for City’s legal action and are prepared to submit documents to strengthen their case ahead of their hearing.

‘The Tyneside club have struck several commercial deals with Saudi Arabia-based companies following their takeover by PiF in 2021.

‘Newcastle would be free to increase their commercial and sponsorship income via Saudi companies if the Premier League’s ATP rules are scrapped.’

But a majority of clubs seem to be against Man City and their challenge with the Daily Mail insisting ‘between 10 and 12 clubs’ are supporting the Premier League.

‘Between 10 and 12 clubs have provided information in support of the Premier League and its rules in what is being viewed as a civil war. Sources say that group includes the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal, Fulham, Wolves, Brighton and Tottenham. Some have provided witness statements while others have provided letters.’

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