The Premier League charged Manchester City on Monday with giving false information about its finances over a nine-year period when the team was attempting to make a name for itself in English and European soccer after being taken over by the ruling family of Abu Dhabi.
The shocking revelation followed a four-year inquiry by the most watched soccer league in the world following the publication by the German magazine Der Spiegel in November 2018 of club emails and documents from City officials.
In a lengthy statement, the Premier League detailed a list of approximately 80 suspected financial rule violations by City from 2009 to 2018, the first nine full seasons under Abu Dhabi ownership. The team won three Premier League championships during that span — in 2012, 2014, and 2018 — making it the most prosperous stretch in City’s 143-year history.
The league also charged City with 30 additional violations for allegedly refusing to assist with the inquiry from December 2018.
In advance of a private hearing, the league claimed it had reported the violations to an independent panel.
The charges “surprised” City, it said in a statement, “especially considering the significant involvement and large amount of comprehensive materials that the EPL (English Premier League) has been provided with.”