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This Is What It Sounds Like When Clubs Die

The papers down here are full of the Manchester City story.


Finally, their novel and refreshing outlook and football finances has caught up with them as the English Premier League has charged them with a number of irregularities in their accounts.


Or not in them, which seems to be more the issue.



The BBC said:


The Premier League has charged Manchester City with more than 100 breaches of its financial rules following a four-year investigation.

It has referred the club to an independent commission over alleged rule breaches between 2009 and 2018.

It also accused City of not co-operating since the investigation started in December 2018.

City said they were “surprised” by the charges and are supported by a “body of irrefutable evidence”.

The commission can impose punishments ranging from a fine and points deduction to expulsion from the Premier League. 

Manchester City replied, in a statement….

Manchester City is surprised by the issuing of these alleged breaches of the Premier League Rules, particularly given the extensive engagement and vast amount of detailed materials that the EPL has been provided with,” 

“The club welcomes the review of this matter by an independent commission, to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence that exists in support of its position.

“As such we look forward to this matter being put to rest once and for all.”  

 They thought they would get away with it, which explains the surprise.

 City breached rules requiring them to provide “accurate financial information that gives a true and fair view of the club’s financial position”.

This information covered club revenue, which includes sponsorship income and operating costs.

Further alleged breaches relate to rules requiring full details of manager remuneration – from the 2009-10 to 2012-13 seasons, when Roberto Mancini was in charge – and player remuneration between 2010-11 and 2015-16.

The Premier League said City breached rules related to Uefa regulations, including Financial Fair Play (FFP), from 2013-14 to 2017-18, as well as Premier League rules on profitability and sustainability from 2015-16 to 2017-18.

In 2020 European football governing body Uefa ruled that City committed “serious breaches” of FFP regulations between 2012 and 2016. 

 We’ve seen this film before, remember the one with the happy ending concerning a glasgow club which also had a novel and refreshing outlook on financial policy.

 They were placed in liquidation, and from the ashes sprung a basket of assets that assumed the mantle of the original club, and backed by a compliant media, it looks, certainly from some quarters, that all of those who lied, cheated and stole got away with it.

 Even to the point where an inquiry, chaired by the morally flexible Lord Nimmo Smith, determined that Rangers gained no sporting advantage and the Employment Benefit Trusts weren’t illegal at the time.

 Although, of course, that turned out to be not entirely correct.

 For whatever reasons, and joining the EPL as a package with the Ibrox club had been high on the Celtic agenda, which might explain the lack of enthusiasm in clarifying the status of the new Ibrox entity, coupled with other clubs who may have relied on the blue…or orange …pound to balance their own books, which had been disrupted as they tried to keep up with the Bank of Scotland backed spending spree by David Murray, who has also appears to have escaped unpunished.

 and that’s before we mention Campbell Ogilvie, of the SFA and Rangers….

Rangers Tax-Case
The whole Rangers saga becomes surreal when you remember that the SFA President, Campbell Ogilvie, had to pretend that he didn’t know that Campbell Ogilvie, Rangers Secretary, had signed off the paperwork that brought the whole EBT scam to life! He was also a EBT recipient. 
His promises to the media to recuse himself from all issues related to Rangers’ tax issues were just another layer of untruths in this long saga. 

 So, maybe we’re a little quick to think that nothing much will come of this investigation.

 We’re wrong, for a number of reasons.

 The main one, of course, is that the FA and the EPL are not run by Manchester City folk.

 If found guilty, Manchester City face a number of possible punishments.

 Rangers, remember, faced none. they went into liquidation, and the myth of relegation perpetuated, suggesting they’d been relegated when in fact it was a new club that had to apply for league membership.

 That’s after the authorities had tried to bully the first division clubs into letting them jump a couple of leagues.

 As the late, great Turnbull Hutton told me in an email, “the forces of darkness are hard at work “

 Sporting integrity appeared to have won, but then the media took over, and more or less admonished the sins of the sinners, and when the new club finally made it to the top league, it was hailed as the greatest ever comeback, and the next journey was to 55….

 All complete bullshit, but it’s not going to happen in England.

 There will be no The Manchester City FC rising from the ashes.

 First, and probably most importantly, there is no desire to let them off lightly with their crimes.

 The EPL don’t want their brand tainted as it is a massive cash cow for all concerned, and in no way reliant on the Manchester club.

The other clubs, those who have kept their books uncooked will demand retribution, and possibly even recompense for lost income, as the game in England is all about money, clubs having long since lost that feeling of community they once had, usually moving out of town to prove it.

 A fine is irrelevant to Manchester City, as they have an unlimited supply of money.

 Points deduction ?

 Possible, but at worst it will cost them a season in the Champions League. Their support changed when the club changed and it doesn’t have the emotional attachment of a Celtic,  a Liverpool or an Arsenal.

 The two Manchester clubs , in a way, mirror the two Glasgow clubs, with one all about scams and the other at least pretending it isn’t.

 The only punishment that would make any sense is relgation from the EPL, and a ban of several years.

 Yeah, they might bring up the European super league story again, to try and bring a little pressure on, and with other European giants, and maybe even a plucky newcomer, likely to at least consider this option, it may even sway the judges, so to speak.

 but the other clubs want them gone, and that will mean they will be gone.

 And when that happens, their owners will find a new toy, and what was once a well supported and excellent example of a family club will become a shell, an empty stadium piled high with debt.

 It’s a shame, in one sense, but in another, it can’t happen soon enough.

 If only to see the hypocrisy in the newspapers in Scotland, and , as we’ve already seen, from a section of a support who are condemning the cheating and demanding that titles be stripped, all with the same lack of self awareness that cost them their own club a decade or so ago.


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1 month ago

Just change their name to ‘the’ Manchester City and Bobs yer uncle.

1 month ago

This is a really good test for the EPL.
Are they a sporting vessel or a money making business?
The EPL may end up being sued by European clubs who lost to City. We ourselves may have a claim there to after playing them in the Champions League.

1 month ago

City ragdolled UEFA over charges related to FFP, that are now replaced by FSR, that Chelsea have pissed all over.

Unless you’re into Fairy Tales there’s nothing new here and there certainly won’t be any meaningful punishment.

Sad but true, these mega clubs are untouchable and very few of the EPL ones are much different when you factor out the ‘Arab money’ racism.

Apropos nothing but the EPL that people are placing their faith in for good governance are furiously resisting independent regulation.

1 month ago

Ralph you still haven’t answered my question about something big coming out of Ireland by your Irish co host,maybe regarding Celtic.

1 month ago

Davy Hay, The Quiet Assassin. Another superb player in the long history of Celtic FC. Davy’s story doesn’t just include a playing role, he was also a Celtic manager – chief scout – assistant general manager and Director of Pools. That’s quite a big contribution to the Celtic cause. He signed for Celtic at just 16 years of age. What a player, a hard tackling player who wasn’t afraid to make his mark, but he was much more than just a tough player, he had an intelligent game, with a fast turn of speed crucial in the modern game and bhoy could he read the game. His was a big contribution to continuing the momentum towards 9IAR. As a manager he led the team out to that most famous 5-0 win in Paisley his home town, just round from Funkyy. Who could forget that day its embedded into our memory, as Hearts were broken and were beaten 0-2 verses Albert Kidd. Deep Joy in the hems.
As chief scout he clearly had an eye for a player recommending the three amigos – Pierre – Di Canio – Cadete – Reiper – Mahe (though the swine has celt the jerseys and swapped channels) Lambert and Burley. Great players but mad as hatters. What a record. Looking in the round, he grew to love the Celtic and I shed a tear when he left us for pastures new. Davy Hay another one of those dizzy young rascals that was the ‘Quality Street Gang’.

david hay 7.jpg
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike.

“And they gave us James McGrory and Paul McStay, they gave us Johnstone, Tully, Murdoch and Hay. And most of the football greats have passed through Parkhead gates”. “After we beat Leeds we thought that we could beat anybody. We probably underestimated Feyenoord, but I’m convinced that had we got a replay, it would have been a different outcome.” Milan 1970 of course. Me? well in 1960 Madrids win over Eintracht football moved forward, in 67 Celtic overcame the dreadful catenaccio, the door – bolt system. Then came ‘Total Football’ and that began in the late sixties. Then Peps tippy tappy and who knows what system is played today “Park The Bus” seems to be the favourite. But in the end its down to the manager and the players and Davy was one of the best.

1 month ago
Reply to  Mike.

I went to the same high school as Davy Hay, Gerard Butler, Joe Egan (Stealers Wheel) and others, but they had left before I was in 1st year…hence none of them got my autograph. Ah, the twists and turns of fate.

1 month ago
Reply to  Funkyy

Correction, Gerard Butler entered a few years after I left, so I’ll excuse him.

1 month ago
Reply to  Funkyy

Hi Funky ,ST.Mirin,s Academy
Istill have nightmares about that place .I was there from 64 to 68.
went on a school cruise in 67 we were in Lisbon a fortnight after the milan game .

1 month ago
Reply to  Mike.

You missed out Auld. I remember clearly Jock Stein wishing, when the semi-final
draw was made, that he was disappointed not to get Feyenoord instead of Leeds.

He wanted an all British final, so you can be sure that he did underestimate Feyenoord.

John mcghee
1 month ago

Listen i blame p.lawwell aswell dont forget this guy signed the 5way agreement and then denied it to the celtic shareholders so our board are involved aswell it was down to all the celtic fans to start a boycott our protest outside hampden in 2012 when it all happened LIQUIDATION but the going for 10inarow was in the heads of fans so that got tossed out window and we all know nothing will get done about ranjurs 1872 cheating in masonic scotland we live in and independent its the only thing that can stop all the bigots and orange walks if independent happened so lets get these stop and get shot of they corrupt bastards at hampden sfa.spfl get them out now and try get our game moving again..CHEATS OF SCOTLAND OUT NOW THE RANJURS CORRUPT SFA.SPFL RATS RUNNING OUR GAME.

1 month ago
Reply to  John mcghee

That must have been a really deep breath.
Corruption, racism and bigotry, Freemasonry, Independence movement and SFA Complicity & Corruption.
All in one paragraph and highlighted by the use of a solitary
Full Stop.

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