A huge story broke in the world of football at the beginning of February and that is Manchester City being charged by the Premier League for over 100 different financial rule breaks, as well as not cooperating with the investigation.
No sort of punishment has been handed down to the Premier League champions yet, and nor will it be for a long time or even at all. The case is now in the hands of an independent commission that will determine whether the Premier League’s charges can be held.
This has led to much scepticism about how City could be punished, both presently and retrospectively. One club that could stand to gain from that is Arsenal.
Many Premier League clubs have decided they want to see Man City expelled from the league for what many consider to be financial doping, for all intents and purposes. The charges relate to the period between 2009 and 2018 and there is a range of possible punishments.
Expulsion from the league would be the most serious course of action to take and it is believed the English Football League (Championship, League One and League Two) will be no under no obligation to accept them into their tournament.
Retrospectively taking away City’s Premier League titles is another course of action that could be taken, although there is a belief that this will cause more issues than it is worth. A fine is possible, but that would have almost no effect on City considering the mass of wealth that they possess.
The main way in which this news can be a benefit to Arsenal is if Manchester City are handed a points deduction which applies to the current campaign. It is a long time since Arsenal were in a title race like this, so they are looking at the present.
Even just a small points deduction could be enough to hand the Gunners the Premier League title as they sit five points ahead with a game in hand. Manchester United and Newcastle United do not look consistent enough to catch them, meaning it could be a job done if the gap grows too wide.
Expulsion from the league for City would also have the same effect, but that is much less likely than a points deduction. Given how long these processes tend to take, though, there may not be a decision taken while this season is still being played.
There is a chance that everyone in the Premier League, and even possibly beyond, could benefit from City’s predicament. We are dealing in hypotheticals here, but say that they got a points deduction, which will boost a handful of teams closer to the various European spots.
If they were to be forcibly relegated, that could rescue one of the teams down the bottom of the table who are currently trying to fight against relegation.
If we look at it in a wider sense, how many players are going to think twice before making a move to City now, with such uncertainty hanging over the club? It might not be quite so easy for the club to attract major stars, meaning a major financial player in the transfer market is hindered.
Pep Guardiola said in May 2022 he would walk away from the club if he found out he had been lied to by the owners. If the charges are upheld, that has to mean that he has been lied to by the owners, and City could then lose arguably the best coach in world football. That would benefit both the club that gets him and City’s direct competitors.
It all remains to be seen what sort of punishment City receive, but Arsenal as well as many others stand to benefit greatly from the club’s alleged wrongdoing.