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Manchester City embroiled in legal battle with the Premier League

  /  autty

Manchester City are embroiled in a legal battle with the Premier League amid concerns from the club that they are the victims of a 'witch hunt'.

The soon-to-be champions are being investigated by the top flight over allegations they broke financial fair play rules.

Two years ago, the Premier League confirmed they were looking into City's finances after hacked emails were published in the German press, amid claims the English club had disguised direct investment from owner Sheik Mansour as sponsorship income.

City were charged with FFP breaches by UEFA and initially banned from the Champions League for two years but subsequently won a landmark case at the Court of Arbitration that saw the ban lifted.

However, the Premier League's case has continued, amid much secrecy.

The New York Times yesterday reported that City are challenging the Premier League in the civil courts, adding that behind-closed-doors hearings have been held amid concerns the club will not get a fair hearing.

Sportsmail understands that the key issue is over disclosure.

It is thought that the Premier League's investigators have demanded access to a wide range of information which club officials feel is unnecessary and unjust. There is a belief within City that a realistic framework should instead be set out, within which they would be happy to co-operate.

Privately, the Premier League's approach has been described by some at the Etihad Stadium as an 'attempted witch hunt'.

Both City and the Premier League declined to comment.

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