There was a disappointing undertone for Gunners fans last season as Arsenal challenged Manchester City for the crown, which eventually fell away, allowing Pep Guardiola and his men to once again claim the trophy. Questions about the 115 alleged violations levelled at their title opponents were never going to be resolved within the span of last season.
The reality, however, may be considerably worse for Arsenal. The Premier League has demanded a hefty penalty for Everton, who are accused of violating Financial Fair Play (FFP) and, if proven guilty, may face a 12-point loss, a Premier League record.
Naturally, the focus has returned to City and the Premier League’s ongoing referral to a Commission that is investigating the problem. Since the news broke earlier this year, things have been quite calm.
There is a valid reason for this, which may explain why Arsenal fans should not be concerned for the time being. The reason for this is because the sheer volume of claims the City is facing necessitates a protracted procedure that might take years to complete.
James Carragher made the rather amusing quip online comparing Everton’s potential punishment to what could face City if they were found to be guilty. Writing on X (formally Twitter) the ex-Liverpool defender said: “The PL [Premier League] want a 12-point deduction for Everton for one charge. Man City are going to end up in the National League North if the PL get their way!!”
The reality is with the Commission conducting its assessment of the allegations in private and confidential settings, it’s unlikely there will be any information regarding when we are approaching a conclusion until it’s end. Therefore perhaps the anxiousness will emerge from the not knowing
There’s a solid case to be made that a potential points deduction for Man City, albeit higher than what Everton is now facing, would not compensate for the damage done. Arsenal will argue that, like any other team, particularly Liverpool, the title would have been theirs in the previous season.
Would a point deduction, along with any potential fines, be a fair punishment today? It’s evident that if City is found to have benefited in any manner from the alleged violations, it may have spanned multiple seasons.
The best that can be hoped for, even in the words of Pep Guardiola, is for an outcome to be reached “as soon as possible” so that this can be moved on from. Of course from an Arsenal perspective, they will hope to benefit but no one knows at this stage what that outcome might be.