Man City ATP win would turn Premier League into Scottish Premiership, warns Liverpool legend

Will Ford
Man City Guardiola
Man City could turn the Premier League into the Scottish Premiership if they win their legal battle.

Manchester City could turn the Premier League into the Scottish Premiership if they win their ATP legal battle, according to Graeme Souness.

It was revealed on Tuesday that City had launched ‘unprecedented legal action’ against the Premier League as they see themselves as victims of ‘discrimination’ because of the APT rules – what’s APT, you ask? – and that the ‘tyranny of the majority’ is attempting to halt their progress as a club.

‘Blowing a big hole’ in FFP charges

They are disputing the rules that limit how much companies linked to club owners can pay them in sponsorship, with their case to be heard at a hearing starting on Monday, which is expected to last a fortnight.

It’s been claimed this is a deflection tactic from City as they head for another hearing in November over their 115 alleged breaches of FFP rules, though it’s also thought that success in the ATP case could ‘blow a big hole’ in their FFP charges.

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‘Handcuffs off’

And Souness believes that if City are successful it could turn the English top flight into a two-horse race season after season, with no other clubs able to compete with the financial might of City and fellow Gulf-backed club Newcastle.

He wrote in his Daily Mail column: ‘If Manchester City succeed in their legal challenge to the Premier League, potentially the competition will end up like Scotland with only two teams capable of winning it.

‘With the financial handcuffs off, City and Newcastle United will have the resources to outmuscle everyone. It would be the beginning of the demise of the Premier League as a competitive entity and people will start to lose interest.

‘We love our league because it is so competitive. We love the fact the underdog can always spring a shock result – like Leicester winning the Premier League.

‘City want the rules changed to suit them. They are making a very dangerous move by challenging the authority they signed up to and it is one that is bound to alienate not just the vast majority of clubs in the Premier League but supporters too. City’s decision makers are giving a master class on how to make your football club unpopular.’