Man City chairman promises ‘very strong, blunt views’ on financial charges deflecting praise from treble

Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup successes could yet be stripped if breaches of financial regulations are proved against Man City

Richard Jolly
Senior Football Correspondent
Monday 19 June 2023 10:00 BST

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has complained that the 115 charges the Premier League have levelled at the treble winners are “frustrating” and deflecting attention from their “incredible” achievements.

City became the second club, after Manchester United in 1999, to win the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Champions League in the same season. Al Mubarak called the City Football Group the top brand in the sport and said it is valued at more than $6 billion (£4.7bn).

But in February, the Premier League charged City with more than 100 breaches of financial regulations – opening them up to potential punishments including fines, points deductions or being stripped of past titles – in a case that may not be heard for years.

Al Mubarak said he had strong opinions on the issue and promised to reveal them but said he is unable to while the case is ongoing.

He said: “I can’t talk about them unfortunately for legal reasons. We’re going through the legal process. These are proceedings that take whatever time they take and when we’re done, I’ll give you my very blunt views, I promise you that. I have very strong views on that, but I am going to be unfortunately very restrained today.

“It’s very frustrating because it takes so much from the great work that’s happening at this club and it’s happening not just on the football pitch. The treble is incredible. I hope people focus and judge them for their football and what they’re achieving on the pitch and what they’re achieving in every competition they’re in. That’s the reality. The club as a whole is very well run. Today, the value of this group is over $6bn.

“We’ve created so much value – we’ve brought in world class investors. Why? Because we have a commercial machine here that is one of the best in the world. Our executives are being targeted by the best teams in the world – always. we’re producing some of the best executives in the world, some of the best scouts in the world, some of the best sporting staff in the world. And that’s a testament to the great work that this group is doing. We’re the No. 1 football brand in the world.”

City owner Sheikh Mansour attended the Champions League final win over Internazionale, just his second match in 15 years since buying the club.

Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin, Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, UAE president Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Man City owner Sheikh Mansour and Man City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak

Al Mubarak nonetheless said: “For Sheikh Mansour, given everything he has given to this club, given all the commitment, years of support, love, he’s given passion to the club. And at the pinnacle, the final of the Champions League, to be here, to be able to attend it. He has so much love for this club and working with him over the last 15 years as part of City Football Group, he deserves this. He really does. And I’m so happy he was there.”

City captain Ilkay Gundogan is out of contract this summer and could leave on a free transfer but Al Mubarak said he hoped the German would stay.

“He will go down in the folklore of Manchester City forever,” he said. “He has been the first signing of Pep [Guardiola] to Manchester City. He’s a representation of this club in terms of hard work, commitment always, humbleness, winning mentality. And when you need him in the big games, he’s always there. And I hope there’s more chapters to that legacy. Obviously, Ilkay has to make big life decisions for him.”

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