Manchester City, the reigning Premier League champions, are set to face off with the Premier League over 115 alleged breaches of financial regulations. The trial is expected to begin in late autumn next year, marking a significant event in football history.
The hearing between Manchester City and the Premier League has been described as arguably the biggest in competition history. The top flight charged its champions with 115 alleged breaches of financial regulations back in February after initiating an investigation in 2018.
Despite this long-running saga, both parties have remained silent on the matter and declined to comment when approached.
However, the Daily Mail has revealed that a date for this monumental showdown has been tentatively scheduled for late autumn of 2024.
How will Pep Guardiola react to the verdict?
If found guilty of wrongdoing, Pep Guardiola's team could face a substantial points deduction. Insiders believe that a conclusion may not be reached until the end of next season – coinciding with when City boss Pep Guardiola's current contract is due to expire.
Guardiola recently stated that everyone outside the club wanted to see them punished over the allegations, and reassured fans that any punishments faced would not result in his leaving.
Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, said:
"We are innocent until guilt is proved."
"Absolutely, I will not consider my future, it depends on being here or being in League One. There is more chance to stay if we are in League One than if we were in the Champions League."
The highly confidential process is currently at a stage where statements are being taken from witnesses – which will likely continue until next spring. If proceedings go ahead as planned, we can expect a verdict around summer 2025.
However, delays could push these proceedings back further. If either party finds the eventual outcome unpalatable it would be hard to imagine they wouldn't appeal - adding significant time to an already lengthy process.
City may explore several other avenues should they need to. However, they won't be able to approach the Court of Arbitration for Sport where they successfully had their UEFA-delivered Champions League ban overturned previously.
Everton fans accuse the Premier League of corruption
Manchester City stands accused of breaching 115 regulations over fourteen seasons from 2009-10 onwards. These charges include claims over financial reporting and lack of cooperation with a Premier League investigation initiated in 2018. Man City, however, deny any wrongdoing.
Meanwhile, Everton were charged with breaking financial rules in March, a month after City's charges were announced. They were given a 10-point deduction earlier this month which they have appealed against.
Everton fans held protests against the Premier League at the weekend over what they deem to be an unjust punishment. They draw comparisons with the situation involving City and accuse the league of bias and corruption.
This trial sets a precedent for future cases of alleged breaches of financial regulations within the Premier League. The outcome could potentially reshape the landscape of football and its governance moving forward.
While Manchester City continue to perform on the pitch as reigning champions, these charges cast an undeniable shadow over their achievements. As football fans, particularly those of Manchester City, Everton and their other rivals, await the verdict with bated breath, only time will tell how this saga will unfold.
City have previously insisted that they have 'irrefutable evidence' to back their case.