Manchester City have been charged with 101 rule breaches by the Premier League, and the great and good of football have given their hot-of-the-press reaction to the potentially seismic news.
The charges cover four areas: a failure to give ‘a true and fair view of the club’s financial position’, a failure to ‘include full details’ of player and manager remuneration, breaches of national and continental financial fair play regulations; and a failure to ‘cooperate with, and assist, the Premier League in its investigations’.
We’ve identified nine of the hottest takes about the allegations levelled against City, ranging from the reactions of Premier League managers to some of football’s most outspoken pundits.
Mourinho lamented the situation back in July 2020 with his comments coming to the fore after Monday’s decision.
“In relation to the decision, in any case, it’s a disgraceful decision,” he previously said.
“If Man City is not guilty of it, to be punished by some million is a disgrace. If you’re not guilty you’re not punished. In the other way, if you’re guilty you should be banned. So it’s also a disgraceful decision. In any case, it’s a disaster.
“If you’re not guilty, you don’t pay. I’m not saying Man City is guilty. I’m saying if you’re not guilty, you don’t pay. You are not punished, even with a pound. I know that money is quite easy for them, but it’s just a principle.
“Why are you paying £8-9m if you are not guilty? If they are not guilty, the decision is a disgrace.
“If you are guilty, the decision is also a disgrace. If you’re guilty, you should be banned from the competition. My criticism is not for Manchester City. I’m nobody to know if they’re guilty or not. My criticism is for the decision.”
Klopp has always been wary of publically criticising City, but made some interesting comments before Liverpool’s victory over the Premier League champions in October 2022.
“Oh, you won’t like the answer,” Klopp said when asked about competing with City in the transfer market. “You will not like the answer, and you (the journalists) all have the answer already. Nobody can compete with City in that.
“You have the best team in the world and you put in the best striker on the market, no matter what it costs you just do it. I know City will not like it, nobody will like it, you’ve asked the question but you know the answer.
“What does Liverpool do? We cannot act like them. It is not possible. Not possible. It is just clear and again you know the answer. There are three clubs in world football who can do what they want financially. It’s legal and everything, fine. But they can do what they want.
“They will say ‘yeah but we have…’ but it’s exactly the fact. We have to look at it (and say) ‘We need that and we need that and we have to look here and make it younger, and here a prospect and here a talent and that is what we have to do’.
“You have to compete (on the pitch) with them. It is not a problem at all for me, it’s like it is. Don’t ask me that question (about competing with City) because you always open this discussion and it’s me telling you. But you all know it, you should know. It is not possible to deal with that and it will be like this.”
Reacting to the news, Carragher wrote on Twitter: “This can’t be right, Man City bring in more commercial revenue than Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Man Utd & Liverpool. (Shrug emoji)”
Kompany won four Premier League titles during an 11-year spell at Etihad Stadium between 2008 and 2019, and came out to bat for his former club this week.
“I look at it and sometimes roll my eyes a little bit,” the Burnley manager said.
“No doubt there’s a lot of righteousness in the world to come and tell you what you’ve done wrong, and then if everybody looks at themselves, I think the football industry, in general, is not one that can afford to point the finger too many times.
“I think all of you will have a little bit of a smile on your face to know what the football industry is about. I’m very sceptical when people start pointing fingers.
“Do the best for yourself and let’s try and improve all the time but I’m a little bit sceptical when the fingers get pointed easily.”
Am I a Premier League champion ?
— Lucas Leiva (@LucasLeiva87) February 6, 2023
“What we don’t want to be looking at is financial consequences, because that’s not easy for them to overcome, is it?” Jordan said on talkSPORT.
“I like to think that if they’re guilty of the things they’ve been charged with, like any other football club, they get the ultimate consequences. That means points, that means the consideration of what division they play in.
“It means the whole rubicon being crossed and saying we either mean it or we don’t. We have a menu of consequences and the last thing we want to see is Manchester City getting a £50 million fine. They couldn’t care less about a £50 million fine.
“I’m talking about the consequences of their behaviour over a 10-year period. If they’re found guilty of 10 years’ worth of financial misrepresentation, what do you think that looks like? What do you think it means.”
Keys wrote in his peerless blog: “It’s not too long ago that Rangers were relegated to the bottom tier of Scottish football – without due process – for far fewer offences than the 100 City have been charged with.
“Is that precedent? Should City be relegated if found guilty of the most serious offences? Stripped of titles? Don’t expect a speedy outcome but it’s all possible now.”
While many have speculated over City’s long-term fate, Keown has looked to the immediate future and its potential impact on this season’s title race.
“I’m pretty certain this will only galvanise the City players,” Keown told talkSPORT. “This can be used as fuel to get back to the top of the Premier League table.
“There’s a feeling that the world is against them now, the ramifications are huge. These players will want to hit back, they’ll use this as energy.
“They’ll have the best lawyers in the world against this and they’ll want to get the truth out.”