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Manchester City have ‘attracted Lionel Messi to play for them’, says KC on Premier League proceedings



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Manchester City have been praised by a KC unconnected to their proceedings with the Premier League over the 115 charges issued to them earlier this year.

The English top-flight charged Manchester City with more than 100 breaches of its financial rules following a four-year investigation, in a confirmed verdict back in February, referring the club to an independent commission over alleged rule breaches between 2009 and 2018.

Manchester City were further accused of not co-operating since the investigation started in December 2018, while the response of the reigning Champions was that of ‘surprise’ whilst also stating that they are supported by a “body of irrefutable evidence”.

It was reported last month that Manchester City and the Premier League had agreed on a date at which they will face off in front of an independent panel, initially scheduled for the late autumn of 2024, meaning a conclusion may not come until the end of the 2024/25 season.

In new details surrounding Manchester City and their approach towards the Premier League, a new report has offered insight into the high-regard in which the Treble winners’ legal team is held within the industry.

As per a detailed report from The Athletic, the appointment of Lord Pannick KC to represent Manchester City against their 115 Premier League charges is regarded internally by some within the club as a coup.

The report refers to a ‘source with knowledge of the proceedings’, who reveals that Lord Pannick KC and Manchester City have “contested matters every step of the way”.

One KC unconnected to the case is quoted by The Athletic as stating, “When you look at what Manchester City are potentially exposed to, it’s not surprising they regard the fact he’s representing them as they’ve somehow managed to attract Lionel Messi to play for the team.”

Manchester City supporters reacted with a celebratory banner at the Etihad Stadium earlier this year, displaying Pannick’s name inspired by a hit song from The Smiths: “Pannick on the streets of London”.

Manchester City’s legal team to challenge their Premier League charges is further described as being ‘unusual’ in so far as they are employing two ‘leading names’. Alongside Lord Pannick KC, it also includes Paul Harris KC, who previously acted for City when they overturned a two-year UEFA ban from European competition.

A fellow KC has said of Harris, as per The Athletic, “I’d prefer to arbitrate rather than be against him. He’s very tough, an ex-competition lawyer, a very aggressive guy. That’s not a bad thing. Very good for your client, no doubt; very difficult if you’re against.”

A solicitor is also quoted as stating, “We instructed him not that long ago and would do so again. He’s bullish and aggressive, but well-regarded.”

On the field, Manchester City returned to winning ways in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon, after they came from behind to defeat newly-promoted Luton Town at Kenilworth Road 1-2 courtesy of goals from Bernardo Silva and Jack Grealish.

City now face a UEFA Champions League meeting with Crvena zvezda and a Premier League match against Crystal Palace at the Etihad Stadium, before their commitments at the FIFA Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia.