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LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 18, 2024: Liverpool's owner John W. Henry (R) and wife Linda Pizzuti during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

What Liverpool owners FSG have said about Man City’s ‘unlawful’ rules

With Man City launching legal action against the Premier League over associated-party transaction rules, we looked back at what Liverpool’s owners had to say on the matter.

Man City recently announced they were to take action against the Premier League, declaring the rules ‘unlawful’.

This is in reference to the rules around sponsorships only being allowed to be agreed at a ‘fair market value’. Man City disagree with this.

Liverpool owner John Henry has long been known as a supporter of these financial restrictions. He spoke to Dave Powell of the Liverpool Echo about the importance of not allowing the Premier League to become a monopoly.

BERLIN, GERMANY - Saturday, July 29, 2017: Liverpool FC owner John W. Henry before a preseason friendly match celebrating 125 years of football for Liverpool and Hertha BSC Berlin at the Olympic Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“You are right that there are ever-increasing financial challenges in the Premier League,” said the 73-year-old.

“The league itself is extraordinarily successful and is the greatest football competition in the world.

“But we’ve thought for some time there should be limits on spending so that the league doesn’t go the way of European leagues where one or two clubs annually have little competition.

“Excitement depends on competition and is the most important component of the Premier League.”

The idea behind the rules is to stop football clubs being able to inflate sponsorship deals with money from the owners’ other businesses, therefore circumventing profit and sustainability rules (PSR).

Man City are currently the subject of 115 charges from the Premier League, seven of which relate directly to breaching Premier League‘s PSR rules 2015-16 to 2017-18.

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)

According to the football finance expert Kieran Maguire from the University of Liverpool, Man City had the highest total revenue (£713 million) of any Premier League club in 2023.

In fact, only Real Madrid generate more revenue than Man City in world football, so the figures say.

On Saturday, Man City Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said: “We have a financial and economic machine.

“As long as we keep managing well and being prudent, you know that growth in terms of revenue, in terms of profitability, I think we’re on a trajectory that’s been there for years now and continues to go from strength to strength?

“Since day one Sheikh Mansour (owner), as the largest shareholder of the group, has been very focused on growth and value appreciation. And in doing so, every pound of profit has stayed within the group to support growth and development…

“My message here is let’s focus on the mental health. Let’s focus on the physical health of our players.

“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.”