Manchester City could reportedly face a points deduction as the Premier League prepare to launch a probe into their alleged Financial Fair Play breaches.
Pep Guardiola’s men have already been slapped with a two-year Champions League ban and a £24.9million fine by UEFA, and according to the the Daily Mail further punishments could also be dished out.
The publication claim the Premier League have been running a separate investigation into City’s accounting and recruitment practices alongside law firm Bird & Bird.
City, who have already appealed the lengthy European suspension, could therefore face further sanctions such as another heavy fine, as well as a potential transfer embargo or points deduction.
It is widely recognised that stripping the club of their previous titles as something which is extremely unlikely to come to fruition.
The Citizens would be likely to face disciplinary measures if sufficient evidence is found which corroborates with UEFA’s investigation.
There are believed to be three parts to the investigation; whether City breached the Premier League’s Short Term Cost Control measures between the years 2013 and 2016, if they submitted false claims in their UEFA licensing accounts and potentially broke third-party ownership rules.
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The first part boils down to a whether or not City increased their wage bill by more than seven per cent per season – a regulation which is no longer in place.
The only exception to that is if they were able demonstrate that the salary increases came from higher commercial revenue.
Secondly, the Premier League are also responsible for operating UEFA’s licensing process – first introduced in 2004 for clubs who compete in Europe most’s prestigious competitions.
Any breach of that would also be likely to result in a sanction for City.
The final component of the investigation is regarding the club’s recruitment of youth players, with their relationship with Danish club FC Nordsjaelland coming under particular scrutiny.
It has been claimed that City had a four-year agreement with Nordsjaelland between 2016 to 2020, which allegedly enabled them to sign the best talent from their Right to Dream Academy for free.
That could also land City in hot water if that constitutes a breach of third-party ownership rules – something which was banned by FIFA in 2015.