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John Aldridge: It’s time to hammer Man City if they are found guilty

City could be docked points or even expelled from the Premier League if more than 100 alleged rule breaches announced are found proven.

Premier League - Manchester City v Aston Villa - Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain - May 22, 2022© REUTERS

Kevin PalmerSunday World

Liverpool great John Aldridge has admitted it would be hard for his old club to celebrate a Premier League title win if Manchester City are stripped of their recent honours due to financial irregularities.

City could be docked points or even expelled from the Premier League if more than 100 alleged rule breaches announced are found proven.

The Premier League issued a statement on its website announcing the club – who have won the competition six times since 2011 – had been referred to an independent commission in respect of a series of alleged breaches of rules related to club finances.

The alleged breaches concerned the reporting of accurate financial information, the submission of details of manager and player pay information within the relevant contracts, a club’s responsibility as a Premier League member to adhere to UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations and to the league’s own profitability and sustainability regulations.

The club are also alleged to have breached rules requiring them to co-operate and assist with the Premier League’s investigation into those breaches, which the league says began in December 2018.

Liverpool have been City’s chief rivals in the chase for trophies in recent years, with Pep Guardiola’s side beating them to silverware during a period that is now under scrutiny by the Premier League.

John Aldridge discusses charges against Man City

Yet Aldridge has told that retrospectively reallocating trophy successes may not be the best punishment for City.

"City have deserved those trophies on paper, but we know Liverpool should have two more league titles than what we have and that hurts,” Aldo told us.

"How would I feel about Liverpool being given trophies from a few years back? I don’t know, but the Premier League have to make a stand now.

"Everyone knows this has gone on from day one. They have done well to get away with it for so long. We will have to see what comes out in the wash and give themselves a chance to prove their innocence.

"The big thing is how the Premier League are going to deal with it. If they are proved right and they have been doing the things that everyone has been suspicious about, it is a very, very serious case.

"Liverpool and Man United might get owners like this down the road and you have to make it clear that it needs to be done down the book.

"Manchester United and Liverpool have been able to do it by the book because of the money they bring in, but lesser clubs like Manchester City couldn’t.

"If they are proved right, the Premier League need to make a case to show they have to be careful with the sponsors they bring in and the companies that are tied in with.

"The punishment has to be severe and if Pep is true to his word, he has to walk out.”

When it comes to the punishment City will face, Aldridge is torn between the options that may be on the table for the Premier League.

"You saw what happened with Rangers being relegated and what happened to teams in Italy, you have to set the boundaries for clubs like Newcastle moving forward,” he added.

"I don’t know whether you can go back and give titles out, but money can’t come in to this. Fining them £100million is nothing and it needs to be something critical. It needs to be more.

"The other big thing that needs to come out of this is fans need to understand how these Financial Fair Play rules work. No one understands it at this stage.”

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