Football fans think Man City broke the rules, but don’t expect them to face serious punishment
February 10th, 2023, Christien Pheby

Football fans think Man City broke the rules, but don’t expect them to face serious punishment

This week, the Premier League charged Manchester City with 100 breaches of its financial rules between 2009 and 2018. Among other things, the club stands accused of neglecting to provide accurate information about "its revenue (including sponsorship revenue), its related parties and its operating costs", and failing to co-operate with the league's investigation. If found guilty of the alleged offences, the club could face a range of sanctions including fines, points deductions, and even expulsion from the Premier League.

A new YouGov poll of 1,000 football fans reveals that three-quarters believe it was likely that Manchester City broke the rules (76%), with just 7% saying the opposite.

But most don’t expect the six-time Premier League champions to receive any serious punishment. While three in ten (31%) expect that Man City will face major sanctions, 63% do not.

What punishments should Man City face if they're found guilty?

Debate has been raging over how exactly Man City should be sanctioned if the Premier League’s charges are proven. While there is some clamour for relegation from the top division among commentators, it’s an option that’s only supported by a quarter (23%) of football fans – who prefer a financial penalty (58%), a points deduction (56%), a transfer ban (50%), or a temporary suspension from European competitions (37%).

Retrospective action is also a more popular option than outright relegation from the league, with a third of football fans (33%) saying that stripping Man City of the Premier League titles it won during the period when the breaches allegedly occurred would be an appropriate punishment. In the event that these titles are revoked, three in five (59%) fans say they should be redistributed to the runners-up from those seasons.

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YouGov Surveys: Self-service provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online on 6 February 2023, with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 football fans in Great Britain (aged 18+ years), using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Data figures have been weighted by age, gender, and social grade to be representative of all adults in Great Britain (18 years or older), and reflect the latest ONS population estimates. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced. 

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