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Sir Jim Ratcliffe supports Manchester City's legal action against Premier League

Published: Updated: 05:43, 21 Jun 2024
Manchester United also thinks Premier League need to change their fairplay structure

Manchester United co-owner, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, has voiced his support for Manchester City's recent legal action against the Premier League. The champions are seeking to abolish the Associated Party Transaction (APT) rules, which they believe are unlawful.

The APT rules were introduced by the league in December 2021 following the Saudi-backed takeover of Newcastle. These regulations require clubs to have their sponsorship deals independently assessed. However, Manchester City is challenging these rules and has launched an unprecedented case against them.

According to a report from The Times, City believes that these rules are unlawful and is seeking damages. If successful in their bid to abolish the APT rules, clubs would be free to negotiate sponsorship deals without any need for independent assessment.

Mixed reactions on legal action

Cityzens decision to take legal action has sparked a divide among football fans and stakeholders alike. Despite this controversy, Ratcliffe - who purchased a 27.7 per cent stake in Manchester United last season - has expressed understanding towards City’s stance.

Interestingly though, despite Ratcliffe's comments supporting Man City’s move against APT regulations, it should be noted that his club – Manchester United – voted in favour of strengthening these very same rules.

Manchester United co-owner, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, said:

“I can understand why they are challenging it, you can understand why they would say that they want an open market, a free market.”

Potential consequences of over-regulation

Ratcliffe also warned about potential consequences if over-regulation continues within the league. He cautioned that it could lead to "an endless legal wrangle with lots of Premier League clubs", which could ultimately damage the reputation and functioning of the league itself.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, added:

“The Premier League is probably the most successful sporting league in the world, certainly the most successful football league in the world. And we have this expression in northern England: ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’

“If you start interfering too much, bringing too much regulation in, then you finish up with the Manchester City issue, you finish up with the Everton issue, you finish up with the Nottingham Forest issue – on and on and on.

“If you’re not careful the Premier League is going to finish up spending more time in court than it is thinking about what’s good for the league. We have got the best league in the world, don’t ruin that league for heaven’s sake.”

The outcome of this legal action is eagerly awaited by sports fans and sports betting enthusiasts alike, as it could significantly impact the future of sponsorship deals within the league.

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