Manchester City have lodged legal challenges against the Premier League over the 115 charges of alleged rule breaches, according to reports.
The reigning Premier League champions are believed to be disputing both the legality of the charges brought against them and the barrister in charge of the process.
According to The Times, the dispute has arisen in relation to changes in the English top-flight's rules, with the six-time champions of the belief that they should not apply to investigations into alleged rule breaches before their introduction.
In addition to that, the club are believed to have challenged the involvement of Murray Rosen KC - a self-proclaimed supporter of City's direct title challengers Arsenal.
Rosen is the barrister at the head of the Premier League's independent judicial panel - the person in charge of appointing a chair for the disciplinary commission with rules allowing him to appoint himself.
Manchester City have reportedly lodged legal challenges against the Premier League over the 115 charges of alleged rule breaches
Murray Rosen KC is head of the Premier League's Judicial Panel and will chair the independent commission looking into alleged rule breaches by Manchester City
Murray Rosen's online biography states he is a member at Arsenal and also of the MCC. He also enjoys playing real tennis and table tennis
Arsenal will have no direct involvement in the commission which will decide City's fate. The Premier League's statement said 'commissions are independent of the Premier League and member clubs.
It is not anticipated that the case brought against Man City will produce a result for at least two to four years, with this most recent development set to delay proceedings even further.
Although a legal dispute between the two parties ought to initially reach an arbitration tribunal, it could potentially progress to a High Court and Court of Appeal.
City received legal papers from the Premier League in February initially announcing the charges over alleged financial rule breaches.
The club however made it abundantly clear that they would take all available steps to defend themselves from the charges, and claimed to have 'irrefutable evidence' to dispute the alleged breaches over the last 14 seasons.
There have been a number of changes to the top-flight's rules over the past few campaigns, and it is as yet unclear which of the rule changes the challenge is directed at.
A change in the rules in February 2022 dictated that individuals must offer up information or documentation on request, as well as answer questions 'comprehensively' and on a 'co-operative and open basis'.
The 2016-17 season saw a further change to guidelines, stating that all clubs must comply 'in full' with Premier League investigations and supply information requested by the competition.
However, should the charges of alleged breaches are proven, then there could be a raft of potential consequences for the club.
These could range from a points deduction to expulsion from the Premier League altogether.
The 115 charges were brought against the club back in February at the culmination of a long investigation
The Citizens are in contention for a treble this season and could become the first English side to do so since 1999
The charges against the reigning champions relate to financial information regarding revenue, details of manager and player remuneration, UEFA regulations, profitability and sustainability and co-operation with Premier League investigations.
In a statement, Manchester City said it was surprised by the alleged breaches.
It read: 'Manchester City FC is surprised by the issuing of these alleged breaches of the Premier League Rules, particularly given the extensive engagement and vast amount of detailed materials that the EPL has been provided with.
'The Club welcomes the review of this matter by an independent Commission, to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence that exists in support of its position.
'As such we look forward to this matter being put to rest once and for all.'
The investigation into the club came to the public's attention earlier this year with the allegations being made in February, however it was in fact part of a process that has gone on behind the scenes for around four years under top secrecy.
The Citizens have previously sought the aid of top legal advice and issued legal challenges to the league when the German investigative website Der Spiegel published documents from the Football Leaks cache that originated with Portuguese computer hacker Rui Pinto.
They alleged that City had overstated sponsorship income, with money being paid by the club's Abu Dhabi owners rather than sponsors linked to the Gulf state.
These related to sponsorship deals with the Etihad airline, who still sponsor City's stadium and shirts, and telecoms company Etisalat.
In March 2021, a High Court ruling claimed that the club 'sought to delay its handing over of the relevant documents and information' via a number of 'procedural applications'.
Man City are owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan and could potentially face a points deduction or expulsion from the league
The Premier League's charges against Man City come three years after the CAS lifted a two-year Champions League ban against the club and reduced a £27m fine down to £9m
Manchester City's stadium is sponsored by the Abu Dhabi-based airline Etihad
City have previously brought in top legal advice, having successfully contested charges of breaching UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules, with the European governing body for football initially imposing a two-year competition ban.
That ban was later overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in 2020, ruling that there was insufficient evidence to support some charges, while others were time-barred.
However, contesting the claims did see City pick up a £9million fine for not co-operating with the investigation.
While the current legal challenge could go to a High Court, it has been suggested that City are willing to take their fight to the Supreme Court.
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