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Manchester City and Premier League to face off in legal dispute from Monday

The arbitration hearing in Manchester City’s legal dispute with the Premier League, which could have huge ramifications for the competition, is set to begin on Monday.

The Premier League champions are challenging the league’s associated party transaction (APT) rules in a hearing set to last until June 21st.

It is believed City will challenge the validity of the rules under UK competition law.

The Times, which first reported details of City’s claim last Tuesday, said the club were seeking to scrap the rules, which were first introduced in December 2021 following the Saudi-led takeover of Newcastle and were most recently strengthened in February.

The rules are designed to ensure any commercial deal or player transfer between a club and entities with links to that club’s ownership are conducted at fair market value, so that club revenues are not artificially

If an arbitration panel declares the APT rules invalid, then clubs would effectively be free to do any commercial deals they wished without any independent judgement being made on whether those deals were for fair market value.

That could then in turn help clubs boost their declared revenue and give them greater leeway on transfer and wages spending under financial sustainability rules. There are fears it could lead to the clubs whose owners have the deepest pockets – City and Newcastle – effectively being in a league of their own in terms of spending.

The Times said City’s lawyers had claimed in their submission that the club had been the victims of discrimination and subjected to “a tyranny of the majority” as a result of these rules.

That has raised fears of a potential governance crisis for the Premier League should there be any successful challenge to its