Arsenal crowned champions - What happens if Man City FFP investigation led to points deduction


The big story doing the rounds right now centres around Everton's punishment for breaching Financial Fair Play rules and what it could mean for this season's Premier League title race.

Having become the first team to be in breach of the new Profit and Sustainability rules following a review by an independent commission, it was announced last Friday that the Merseyside outfit had been deducted 10 points - effective immediately - meaning they've dropped into the relegation zone.

It should be pointed out that this decision is subject to an appeal from Everton but if unsuccessful this will be seen as an unprecedented punishment at the top level of English football in the modern era and one that could set the standard for any side that falls foul of the breaches in years to come.

Now from an Arsenal perspective, attention has already turned to Manchester City, in particular, as they were hit with 115 charges in February of this year - which they've reiterated their stance that they welcome a review - following on from an investigation of their finances.

If the reigning Premier League champions are to be found guilty of the alleged breaches then it's perhaps safe to assume a points deduction would be the punishment, although football finance expert Stefan Borson – who was previously an adviser at Man City – claims that relegation would be on the cards.

"There are too many things that 'might' happen if City are found against. It will be very serious — all hell will break loose," he said. "It will turn into an enormous story — not just in respect of football but much wider than that. So many parties will be implicated. It will be an incredibly explosive situation.

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"From a football perspective, it’s impossible to think City would not be relegated if all of these things were found against them. The hearing is likely to be in 2024 at some point. The Premier League are bound to be concerned about what they would do if City are found guilty. The fact the league charged City with such serious matters shows you this is a very bold move."

In truth, a points deduction or Man City being relegated ultimately benefits Arsenal in their quest to be crowned Premier League champions for the first time since 2004. Having said that, this target would have been achieved last season had the Cityzens been found guilty and subsequently punished.

Using Everton's 10-point deduction as the standard and applying it to City would have left Pep Guardiola's side with 79 points in the final 2022/23 Premier League standings which means they instead would have finished runners-up to the Gunners who accrued 84 points.

Of course, as already analysed by, it is unlikely that any prospective punishments for Man City - if found guilty of the alleged breaches - will be retrospective so they would not be stripped of the Premier League titles won during the period in which they are being investigated for.

Furthermore, as the 115 alleged FFP breaches cover a nine-year period between the 2009-10 and 2017-18 seasons, last year's Premier League title isn't under the microscope as the only way Arsenal could have benefited is if the investigation was concluded before May 2023.

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