Manchester City (hereinafter referred to as Man City) won 3-0 against Everton on the 14th (Korean time) in the 35th round of the Premier League in the 2022-2023 season. Man City (85 points) beat Arsenal (81 points), second in the league, who played one more game with this game victory, by 4 points, and if they add just 1 win from the remaining 3 games, the league championship will be confirmed.
If Manchester City win this season, they will achieve a third consecutive Premier League title. Since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, it has become the first team since Manchester United to win three consecutive titles.
Since the club’s founding in 1880, Man City has reached the top eight times in the first division of English professional football. However, prior to 2008 when Man City was acquired by Abu Dhabi United Group, a private equity fund headed by Mansour Binzaid Al Nahyan (53), Deputy Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), it had only been at the top of English professional football twice.
So, Man City has faced criticism as a ‘splendid club’ that has suddenly grown into ‘oil money power’ in the 21st century. In particular, fans who support Manchester United, Liverpool, and Arsenal, which are traditionally called strong players on the English professional football stage, poured out mocking criticism toward Manchester City.
The reason this problem was further amplified was that in 2020, Man City was banned from participating in European competitions and fined for violating the Financial Fair Play (FFP) rule from the European Football Federation (UEFA). FFP is a rule that limits the amount a club spends on player transfer fees or annual salaries to no more than a certain percentage of club revenue.
Although Man City was able to avoid UEFA’s disciplinary action by appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and winning, it was still not free from suspicion of not transparently disclosing management data, including sponsorship income. For this reason, in February, the Premier League Secretariat referred Manchester City to an independent committee for more than 100 management violations over the past nine seasons.
To make matters worse, on the 10th, Man City, who had no wind due to problems that occurred off the ground, was involved in another suspicion of violating the rules. This is because the Belgian second division club Royal Excelsior Birton filed a complaint with the European Union (EU) against Rommel SK, a Belgian sister club owned by Manchester City.
The Virtong Club argued that after Man City bought Rommel SK in 2020, investing about 24.4 billion won in capital to secure the club’s license violated the EU’s fair competition law. Initially, Rommel SK was highly likely to be demoted from the Belgian professional football second division to the third division due to financial deterioration, but it was able to remain in the second division by obtaining a license through Man City’s ‘fund transfusion’.
The EU is expected to discuss the issue under the foreign subsidy regulations that came into effect last January. The foreign subsidy regulations were recently enacted to address the problem that subsidies from foreign companies or organizations distort the European market and ultimately, subsidized companies are gaining unfair profits that go against the spirit of fair competition.
Man City has created a holding company called City Football Club (CFG) to operate football clubs in various countries together and has 13 sister clubs under its umbrella. Through the construction of such a football empire, Manchester City is seeking to increase income such as TV broadcasting rights by expanding its fan base worldwide while reducing player training and scouting costs.
Man City’s goal is to get away from this disgraceful suspicion of violating rules and stand at the top of Europe with football skills. In that respect, Man City’s most important game this season is expected to be the second leg of the Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid on the 18th. In the first leg, which was played away, Manchester City drew 1-1 with Real Madrid, champions league winners last season and winners of the Champions League (including the European Cup) 14 times so far.
Considering the fact that the second leg of the semi-final will be held at the home stadium, the Etihad Stadium, Manchester City is in a somewhat advantageous position. This is because Real Madrid, who had a draw in the first leg and need a win in the second leg, are being chased.
But Manchester City’s Achilles heel is stamina. It is true that Man City, which is challenging the ‘Treble (three crowns)’ of winning the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League this season, has a greater physical burden on its players than Real Madrid. Real Madrid, on the other hand, paradoxically fell behind Barcelona in the race for the La Liga lead early on, giving them plenty of time to build up their stamina for the Champions League.
If Man City advances to the Champions League final by defeating Real Madrid, it is worth looking forward to winning the Champions League, as it will clash with Internazionale or AC Milan, which are rated one lower than the previous level.
Manchester City fans exploded when the Premier League Secretariat officially raised allegations of Manchester City’s rule violations. Manchester City fans, outraged by the league’s conduct, responded with ironic protest slogans of ‘We will cheat when we want’ whenever the official Premier League theme song resonated from the stadium this season. 먹튀검증
They feel that Man City is receiving excessive checks or criticism from the Premier League or UEFA compared to other clubs because they have grown rapidly with the power of Middle Eastern capital. That’s why fans who believe in Man City’s innocence often express resentment. Their ultimate goal is to free Man City from allegations of rule violations. However, Man City fans firmly believe that what is essential in the process of resolving this injustice is the first Champions League victory in club history.