Man City charged with breaking Premier League rules - did it affect the club's brand?
March 2nd, 2023, Stephan Shakespeare

Man City charged with breaking Premier League rules - did it affect the club's brand?

On February 6, Manchester City were charged with over 100 breaches of the Premier League’s rules. The club could potentially face sanctions including a points deduction, a transfer ban, or even expulsion from the Premier League entirely.

But alongside the possibly existential threat to the club’s status at the top of English football, scandals such as this can have a damaging effect on public perception. According to YouGov FootballIndex, Buzz scores for Manchester City – which track whether consumers have heard anything positive or negative about a club in the past two weeks – fell from 4.6 to -8.5 between 5-25 February. It’s a decline of 13.1, and one that puts the club well below the average for all Premier League clubs (which deteriorated slightly by 0.6 points – from 2.1 to 1.5 – likely at least partially because of the Man City charges).

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given that the charges include accusations that the club was misrepresenting its finances, scores tracking whether Man City are considered well or poorly run also halved from 17.1 to 8.7 (-8.4). This still puts them some way above the average for the Premier League (which, over the same period was relatively stable, moving from 2.6 to 2.5), but it suggests the story has made an impact.

We are yet to see any meaningful movement for other key metrics: measures tracking whether Manchester City has a big tradition or not inched up slightly from 12.9 to 14.4 (+1.5), and scores tracking whether or not the club plays attractive football or not barely moved from 13.8 to 13.7 (-0.1). This suggests that for most followers of the game, the charges haven’t (yet) soured general opinion of the club.

But the club and the Premier League are at an early stage of what could yet be a long process. Our data shows that 76% of fans believe the club broke the rules – and over half want them to face at least a points deduction (56%) or a fine (58%) if found guilty. Nevertheless, for both Man City and the league alike, it’s all still to play for.

This article originally appeared in City A.M.