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08th Jul 2024

Man City claim investigation into their finances is ‘unfair’

Harry Warner

It’s the latest twist in the club’s ongoing battle with the Premier League

Manchester City have claimed that an investigation into their finances is ‘unfair’ due to a conflict of interest with a company employed by rival clubs.

The football team’s complaint concerns analysis carried out by Nielsen Sports, a global data and media valuation firm that has contracts with multiple Premier League teams.

According to The Guardian, the league’s scrutiny of the fair market value of City’s sponsorship deals was undertaken by Nielsen Sports which has ultimately led to Man City calling the investigation ‘unfair’.

It is believed that City brought up this alleged conflict of interest in the legal battle between the club and the Premier League which was heard behind closed doors last month.

Sheikh Mansour

This latest revelation comes as a continuation of the investigation into Manchester City’s 115 accused breaches of financial fair play rules which has seen the Citizens hit back at the Premier League.

As part of legal action in retaliation to the investigation, the club have claimed the rules were designed to “discriminate against Gulf owners.”

City claim that the associated party transactions (APT) regulations, which ensure sponsorship from companies linked to club’s owners are in line with market value, are unlawful because they breach competition law.

Furthermore, the club will look to receive damages from the Premier League for loss of sponsorship in blocked deals based on analysis by Nielsen, if successful in their legal battle.

Nielsen are an American firm and describe themselves as “the leading source of sports measurement and analytics around the world.”

They have worked with many Premier League teams as well as dozens of other sporting associations from World Athletics to Formula 1.

Their work is to ‘provide analysis and data to sporting institutions regarding media valuation, fan insights and digital and social analysis.’

The legal battle between the Premier league and Manchester City has caused a divide in England’s top flight, with Newcastle, Chelsea and Aston Villa standing in solidarity with City while Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool oppose their accusations.

Despite winning the treble last season the and subsequently posting a Premier League record revenue of £712.8m, plenty of suspicion has arrived of the Manchester club’s finances whose three biggest sponsors, Etihad Airways, Etisalat and Experience Abu Dhabi have close links to their owners.

Although City have won the league the last six years out of seven, the club still lag behind the giants on English football in terms of global fan base, which further scrutinises the clubs finances.

A result from last months legal battle is expected soon, while a decision on the 115 breaches is set to be made this autumn