The Premier League is embroiled in a fresh legal battle over new rules governing commercial deals between clubs and their affiliates.
According to Sky News, an unnamed top-flight club has threatened arbitration proceedings, arguing the proposed changes are unlawful.
These associated-party transaction (APT) rules are designed to create a level playing field by preventing inflated deals that fuel excessive player spending.
Manchester City, already facing Financial Fair Play (FFP) charges, are suspected of opposing the reforms, citing competition law violations.
This adds to the legal and political pressure on the Premier League, with an independent regulator on the horizon.
City, owned by Abu Dhabi investors, previously expressed concerns about stricter APT rules, raising questions about their Etihad stadium sponsorship and links to City Football Group’s global network.
Concerns over competitive imbalance due to state ownership at Manchester City and Newcastle United fuel support for stricter APT rules.
This legal challenge highlights the increasingly strained relationship between the Premier League, its clubs, and the English Football League (EFL), where financial redistribution talks have stalled.
Meanwhile, new financial sustainability tests, including a £25m minimum free cashflow requirement, are being discussed.
“Any attempt to block the APT rules is self-absorbed and will ultimately damage the game,” said a source.
The Premier League remains confident its reforms comply with competition law.
This potential legal battle throws another curveball into the already complex financial scene of the Premier League, raising questions about fair play, transparency and the future of the league itself.
The Premier League and Manchester City have not confirmed or denied the news, but watch this space for further updates.
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