Could Manchester City be stripped of Premier League titles?

Manchester City Premier League title 2017/18
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Manchester City are facing potential sanctions from the Premier League, after allegedly breaching the competition's financial rules more than 100 times between the 2009/10 and 2017/18 seasons.

An independent commission is currently reviewing the club's alleged breaches.

However, there is no precedence for this situation, meaning what happens next if Manchester City are proven to have broken the financial rules isn't entirely clear.

Ultimately, the decision will come down to the Premier League. It has never had to sanction a club which has committed an alleged 100-plus breaches of financial rules, though, and could, therefore, heavily fine or even relegate them from the league. 

Indeed, the commission can impose punishments including a fine, points deductions, strip titles and expel a club from the Premier League. 

During the period of alleged financial misconduct, Manchester City won three Premier League titles, in the 2011/12, 2013/14 and 2017/18 seasons. 

Manchester United finished second on two of those occasions, while Liverpool were the runners-up in 2014. 

However, if City are stripped of the aforementioned three Premier League titles, Manchester United nor Liverpool will be the recipients of the accolades instead. Indeed, those seasons will simply not have a winner accredited, should the Premier League determine them illegitimate victories by City.

While this hasn't happened before in England, Italy does have previous for teams being stripped of titles. In the wake of the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal in the mid-2000s, Serie A stripped Juventus of their 2004/05 and 2005/06 wins, before relegating them to the second tier.

Manchester City could suffer the same fate as the Old Lady, with one former club financial advisor suggesting they must be relegated if found guilty of breaching the financial rules.

"Manchester City FC is surprised by the issuing of these alleged breaches of the Premier League Rules, particularly given the extensive engagement and vast amount of detailed materials that the EPL has been provided with," City said in a statement.

"The Club welcomes the review of this matter by an independent Commission, to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence that exists in support of its position."

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Ryan Dabbs
Staff writer

Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future.