Man City FFP: Keys tells the Citizens to ‘stop running’ from charges with expulsion ‘a realistic outcome’

Joe Williams
Richard Keys on Man City
Richard Keys has some strong opinions on Man City.

Richard Keys has told the Man City hierarchy to “stop running” from their 115 charges for alleged breaches of the Premier League’s financial fair play rules.

Man City were charged in February 2023 with more than 100 breaches of the competition’s financial fair play regulations dating back to 2009.

The Citizens have been under the spotlight more this season with Everton, and more recently Nottingham Forest, given points deductions for breaking FFP rules.

Pep Guardiola’s side won the Premier League title on Sunday and are on course to win a Double if they can beat Man Utd in the FA Cup final at the weekend.

It comes after Man City won the Treble last term and to many critics of the club, which is supported by the vast wealth of owner Sheikh Mansour, the Premier League charges cast a shadow over their success.

And Keys thinks Man City, who have vociferously denied any wrongdoing, should look to face a hearing over the charges as soon as possible.

“It wasn’t just the final day that fell flat – I thought City’s achievement did,” Keys said in a blog post.

“They know. They all know – fans, players and management alike, that none of us can take anything they do at face value – until they‘ve answered the 115 outstanding breaches of PL regulations. And here they are….

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“54x failed to provide accurate financial information 2009-10 to 2017-18.

“14x failed to provide accurate details for player and manager payments 2009-10 to 2017-18.

“5x failure to comply with UEFA’s rules including Financial Fair Play (FFP) 2013-14 to 2017-18.

“7x breaching PL’s PSR rules 2015-16 to 2017-18.

“35x failure to co-operate with PL investigations Dec 2018-Feb 2023.”

Keys added: “City strenuously deny any wrong doing. And they’re innocent until proven guilty. The problem is that everything they win comes with an asterisk, until we know one way or the other.

“And that’s not fair on the guys winning the trophies – or City’s fans. If the people that run the club are certain they’ve done nothing wrong – face the charges now. Stop running.”

‘Expulsion from the Premier League wouldn’t be just hyperbole’

Keys’ comments come after a sports lawyer told The Athletic that “expulsion” from the Premier League “wouldn’t be just hyperbole” if Man City are found guilty of the charges they are facing.

The sports lawyer said: “You would have to think that the penalty would be absolutely huge. Expulsion from the Premier League wouldn’t be just hyperbole. It would be a realistic outcome if they were found guilty of the charges.”