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Sir Jim Ratcliffe offers shock support for Manchester City’s legal challenge against Premier League rules



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Manchester United owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe has commented on Manchester City’s current legal battle with the Premier League regarding Associated Party Transaction rules.

The Premier League and Manchester City have been involved in a two-week arbitration this month, after the Sky Blues launched an ‘unprecedented’ legal challenge in relation to Associated Party Transaction (APT) rules.

APT rules were brought in by the Premier League in December 2021 following the Saudi-backed takeover of Newcastle United, aimed to prevent clubs from signing commercial deals at inflated prices.

Manchester City have launched legal proceedings against the rules, and are sensationally suing the Premier League for damages, alongside attempts to end Associated Party Transaction rules, which they claim are ‘unlawful’.

The hearing into the case began on Monday 10 June, and is the Blues’ second legal battle against the Premier League, with Manchester City’s hearing regarding the 115 charges scheduled to be heard in the Autumn.

Pep Guardiola’s side lifted the Premier League trophy for a sixth time in seven years last month, although away from the pitch Manchester City have been locked in legal disputes with the league.

Manchester City face a major legal battle relating to the alleged 115 breaches of financial rules between 2009 and 2018, following a four-year investigation in November, with the charges having initially been announced in 2023.

New Manchester United owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe has revealed an ‘understanding’ for Manchester City’s latest legal challenge however, telling Bloomberg: “I can understand why they are challenging it, you can understand why they would say that they want an open market, free market.

“If you’re not careful, the Premier League is going to finish up spending more time in court than it is thinking about what’s good for the league.”

Manchester City suffered a 1-2 defeat to Manchester United in the Emirates FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium last month, with Ratcliffe having acquired a 27.7% in the Old Trafford club in February.

Ratcliffe also appointed former Manchester City chief operations officer Omar Berrada as Manchester United’s CEO within weeks of completing the takeover.