Man City's legal battle with Premier League could impact Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday with £900m 'at risk'

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Manchester City have announced a counter suit against the Premier League as they prepare to battle more than 100 charges.

Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday could both be impacted by Manchester City’s legal battle with the Premier League. City are facing 115 charges due to alleged financial breaches of Premier League rules but in a move not many expected, they have now launched a counter suit against the Premier League.

City effectively allege that the rules they are accused of breaking are unfair and not legal. Much of those rules related to clubs bringing in unchecked revenue from sponsors, which is an avenue City wish to exploit, given their strong ties with the Middle East, while Newcastle United also have strong interest in doing the same. The Magpies front of shirt sponsor is provided by Sela - a Saudi live events and experiences company, with the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund owning 80 per cent of Newcastle.

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With clubs limited by Profit and Sustainability rules, sponsorships can be a way of bringing in more revenue and thus increasing how much can be spent, but any sponsorship money is vetted by the Premier League to make sure there is no extra money from owners being filtered into clubs through sponsors, with clubs unable to make large amounts of money from sponsors who are also owned by club owners as all sponsorship deals must be deemed to be of fair market value.

City wish to change that with their counter suit, and clubs, according to The Times, are extremely concerned about the outcome given, if rules are changes, those rich clubs will be able to pull further away from the rest. As many as 10-12 clubs are said to be willing to stand with the Premier League and fight against City in the trial, the first of which begins in less than two weeks, lasting around a month, while there are further dates set for later in the year.

As all that unfolds, sources in the same report claim they feel City’s battle with the Premier League is a big reason why the Premier League have failed to agree a new deal with the EFL. 'New Deal For Football' was set to send as much as £900m to EFL clubs over six seasons from the Premier League, but talks collapsed. It’s believed that if City manage to get rid of the Premier League’s financial rules, the Premier League clubs will not be willing to sanction handouts to clubs in lower tiers.

That could be a big blow for the Blades, Wednesday and the rest of their rivals in the EFL, with finances much harder to manage outside the Premier League. Although United will continue to receive parachute payments over the coming years following their relegation.

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Meanwhile, Man City chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak recently said of the charges facing his club: “Of course, it’s frustrating. The referencing is always frustrating. I feel for our fanbase and everyone associated with the club to have these charges constantly referenced. It’s taking longer than anyone hoped for but there is a process we have to go through. I’ve always repeated, let’s be judged by the facts and not by claims and counterclaims.”

He added: “The Premier League got to where it is today by being the most competitive league,” he said. “So, I hope there is a bit more sensibility in regulating. A balanced approach is good from all the leagues. There have been a lot of restrictions put in place on swaps and loans, so even that is now much more restricted. That is going to be reflected, I believe, this summer.”

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