Premier League champions, Manchester City have reportedly hired a respected British lawyer from the Blackstone Chambers, Lord Pannick KC, as they seek to defend themselves against Premier League charges of financial improprieties.
The Premier League announced on its website on Monday that City have been charged with breaking the Premier League’s financial fair play rules around 100 times over a nine-year period, which starts in 2009 and goes on until 2018.
The Premier League said City breached rules related to UEFA regulations, including Financial Fair Play (FFP), from 2013-14 to 2017-18, as well as Premier League rules on profitability and sustainability from 2015-16 to 2017-18.
Lord Pannick KC is widely believed to be one of the best barristers of his generation.
The fiery lawyer will go head to head with Blackstone Chambers colleague Adam Lewis KC in what is shaping up to be one of the biggest, and most expensive, sports law battles in history.
Pannick typically charges around £5,000 an hour, but has been known to request up to £10,000.
If he were paid at the top end of that scale, come the trial when he is working full-time, Pannick could be paid £80,000 a day, or £400,000 a week – the same as Manchester City’s (and the Premier League’s) highest-paid player Kevin De Bruyne.
He has acted in a large number of the leading public law cases of the last 30 years, appearing in 100 cases in the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords (before it was replaced by the Supreme Court).
News on Tuesday indicate that there is no set timetable for when the independent commission, appointed by the Premier League’s judiciary panel, must finalise its ruling on Manchester City.
The proceedings will happen in private.
READ ALSO: Man City Faces Points Deduction, Expulsion Over Financial Irregularities
If found guilty, the English football’s most successful club of the last decade, face a wide range of sanctions, up to and including expulsion from the Premier League itself.
The club could also be stripped of its league titles, banned from fulfilling its fixtures, prevented from signing or registering new players.
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