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'Frustrated' Man City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak calls for 'more sensibility in regulating'

Man City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak on the Premier League charges against the 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."

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Speaking on Saturday June 1, Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said he believes the recent restrictions on buying players will see fewer transfers and loan deals this summer

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has urged the game’s administrators to show “more sensibility” in how they regulate football finances.

Khaldoon made the remarks in an in-house interview recorded last Saturday, prior to The Times reporting on Tuesday that City had issued a legal claim challenging the validity of the Premier League's associated party transaction (APT) rules.

In the same interview, Khaldoon admitted it had taken "longer than anyone hoped for" for the 115 Premier League charges against the club over alleged breaches of financial rules to be heard.


Khaldoon on the transfer market: You won't see the same level'

Khaldoon was asked for his views on the regulatory landscape City and all clubs across Europe face, and whether he envisaged it having an impact on this summer's transfer market.

Clubs involved in UEFA competitions next season will only be able to spend 80 per cent of revenue on squad costs such as player wages, transfer and agents' fees, with the figure dropping to 70 per cent thereafter.

Khaldoon said in the interview, which was released on Wednesday: "I hope there's a bit more sensibility in regulating, (that there is) always a balanced approach.

"This is good for all the leagues, be it in England or the rest of Europe. I think you won't see the same level (of transfer spending) as we've seen in the past few years because of the level of regulations that have come into place over the last 12 months."

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Khaldoon said he believed the focus of regulators should be on player workload rather than club spending.

"My message here is let's focus on the mental health. Let's focus on the physical health of our players," he said.

"I think that is very important, rather than spending so much time on the regulatory issues that just kind of slow down the growth of the game."

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Football writer and broadcaster Henry Winter and The Mirror's John Cross discuss the possible implications of Manchester City's decision to 'launch legal action' against the Premier League over financial rules

The Times reported that City's challenge to the APT rules will be aired at an arbitration hearing starting on Monday.

The APT rules are designed to ensure that any commercial deal or player transfer between a club and entities with links to that club's ownership are conducted at fair market value, so that club revenues are not artificially inflated.

The Times says the rules will be challenged under competition law, and that the Premier League has sought the support of other clubs in conducting its defence against the claim.

A successful challenge which declared the APT rules unlawful would give clubs free rein to strike commercial deals without independent oversight. A ruling in City's favour could even have a wider impact on Premier League governance, where rule changes are decided by a majority vote among clubs.

'The reference is always frustrating'

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Speaking on Saturday June 1, Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak described the 115 charges the club face as 'frustrating' but that they will respect the process

City are also preparing to defend themselves against 115 charges laid by the Premier League over alleged breaches of its financial rules.

The hearing in that case is expected to begin in the autumn, and Khaldoon said it was "frustrating" that the charges were referenced frequently as City got closer to - and ultimately sealed - a fourth straight Premier League title last month.

"Of course, it's frustrating," Khaldoon added in the interview. "I think the reference is always frustrating. Having it being talked about the way it's being talked about, I can feel, of course, for our fan-base, for everyone associated with the club, to have these charges constantly referenced.

"We as a club have to respect that there's a process that we have to go through, and we'll go through it.

"It's taking longer than anyone hoped for but it is what it is. Let's be judged by the facts, and not by claims and counterclaims."

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Sky Sports News' Geraint Hughes explains why Manchester City have opted to launch legal action against the Premier League over their financial rules.

Man City chairman eager to find 'right solution' to Pep Guardiola future puzzle

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Speaking on Saturday June 1, Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak insists manager Pep Guardiola has always been fully committed to the club and they will make the decision on his future together

Meanwhile, Khaldoon Al Mubarak expects to find the "right solution" regarding manager Pep Guardiola's future - but has given no indication what that might be.

Guardiola, who is contracted until 2025 at the Etihad Stadium, hinted after steering City to a fourth successive Premier League title last month that next season could be his last at the club.

Yet throughout his tenure the Spaniard has preferred to sign relatively short contracts and has previously gone into the latter stages of deals before recommitting.

The situation beyond the end of next season therefore remains unclear.

Speaking in his end-of-season review, Khaldoon told the club's media channels: "With Pep, we've had this conversation many times before over the years of the contract.

"Pep has always been fully committed to this club, fully committed to every contract he's signed with us.

"The decision on his future is always a decision we take together, and I have no doubt we will find, as we always have done, the right solution that works for Pep and works for us."

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During their Premier League title celebrations in Manchester, Pep Guardiola was put on the spot surrounding his future in the Premier League

Guardiola has won six Premier League titles in the past seven years as well as the Champions League, the Club World Cup, two FA Cups and four League Cups since taking charge in 2016.

Khaldoon said: "It's hard to put into words what Pep has given this organisation, this club.

"You can look at just records for history's sake, and there I think he's racked up almost every record in the book.

"These are records that I think will be very, very hard in the future to ever break, from winning six out of the last seven leagues, to winning four in a row, to the number of wins. The records go on and on and on.

"But also beyond that, I think what his impact has been on football. English football has changed with the evolution to the type of football that Pep has brought in to the league."

What's next for City? 'We're going for five in a row'

 Kyle Walker lays out secret of Manchester City's four-in-a-row
Image: Kyle Walker lifts the Premier League trophy last month

After becoming the first club in the history of English football to win four top-flight titles, Khaldoon is in no doubt the next aim is to make it five.

He said: "We've done four in a row. Now we're going to go for five in a row.

"By the way, that (aim for) five in a row, in our minds, happened the second that final whistle went against West Ham.

"I remember just going down to the pitch and telling almost everybody I saw, 'excellent, fantastic result, we're so proud - but now we're going for five in a row'."

The 2023/24 campaign ended on a low note with defeat by Manchester United in the FA Cup final but Khaldoon expects to use the loss as motivation for next term.

He said: "For sure everybody wanted to win. It's the FA Cup, it's against Manchester United, it's doing the double-double back-to-back. From that perspective, (we're) very disappointed.

"But always you have to think of the silver lining. One of the things you always want to avoid is complacency. You never want to be content, you want to keep that hunger.

"Now we come back hungrier because we want to win this again. We want to go for the treble again. We're going to try to win every competition we compete in."

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