MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, March 4, 2023: Manchester City's chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak (L) and Chief Executive Officer Ferran Soriano (R) during the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Newcastle United FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. Man City won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Man City chairman “very frustrated” by 115 charges – “The club is very well run”

With Man City charged with 115 breaches of financial rules by the Premier League, chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak insists the club is “very well run.”

While Man City owner Sheikh Mansour attended only his second-ever game with the Champions League final, it is Al Mubarak who holds responsibility over the club.

The 47-year-old, himself a senior member of the government of Abu Dhabi, is a regular at Man City games and met with Liverpool officials including Kenny Dalglish and Ian Rush in the Etihad clash in April.

His word, then, is significant, and in an in-house interview conducted after the club’s treble win, Al Mubarak discussed the Premier League charges.

While he insisted that “legal reasons” stopped him from commenting fully, he said he was “very frustrated” that the charges “take so much” from the on-field success.

Al Mubarak added that Man City were “going through the legal process” and it would “take whatever time” it takes to complete.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Monday, August 23, 2010: Manchester City's Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak (L) with Owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan sees his side take on Liverpool in his first ever Premiership match at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I’ll give you my very blunt views [after], I promise you that. I have very strong views on that, but I am going to be unfortunately very restrained,” he said.

“It’s very frustrating because it takes so much from the great work that’s happening at this club.”

He added: “The club as a whole is well run, is very well run.

“Today, the value of this group is over $6 billion. We’ve created so much value – we’ve brought in world-class investors.

“Why? Because we have a commercial machine here that is one of the best in the world.”

Given the 115 charges looming over Man City – and the magnitude of them – it is only right that those outside of their bubble can question the credibility of their success.

It is almost certainly why there was more focus in the national press on Jack Grealish’s celebrations than there was on Man City winning three trophies.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 1, 2023: Manchester City's manager Josep 'Pep' Guardiola (R) greets Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp before the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. Man City won 4-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Put simply, few outside of the Etihad can take their achievements at face value given the charges against them – though Al Mubarak went on to raise the net spend argument.

“We can go on for half an hour right now with me just giving you data in terms of net spend over the last season, net spend over the last three years, over the last five years, over the last 10 years,” he said.

“Look at every single one of them and just look at these as the facts and compare us to our competition and then people will throw at us ‘the biggest spenders’, ‘you have the biggest squad’.

“I wish people can just pause and ask the question and get the facts and then comment.”

There is clearly a confidence within Man City that they will beat the charges against them – or, at least, a loophole is found as was the case with their battle with UEFA in 2020.

From a wider perspective, including those at Liverpool, the sooner the “facts” are laid out, the better.