Man City’s knickers in a twist over Arsenal barrister


Apparently, Man City not only object to being investigated at all,; they object to being investigated by a barrister with more than four decades’ expertise and experience in sports law, offshore fraud and asset tracing. Murray Rosen KC (King’s Counsel), in addition to being first Chair of the new Premier League Judicial Panel also happens to be an Arsenal fan. Get the fainting couch & smelling salts.

In addition to lodging a legal challenge and those 115 charges for alleged rule breaches, Manchester City dispute Rosen’s involvement. They might have preferred a barrister who is a Man City fan, but an exhaustive search revealed that none of them is old enough yet to have finished their A levels, much less the year-long Bar Professional Training Course.

On a more-serious level, City do deserve an impartial judge—but that might be hard to come by. It might be even harder to find someone with Rosen’s vast and deep experience who’s also impartial. However, their concern over his allegiance to Arsenal may be little more than a fig leaf to cover their concern over his experience; he’s been described as “tactically flawless” and “tenacious”, and these qualities and that expertise may disturb Guardiola and his grandees.

At a risk of sweeping their concerns, Rosen’s CV describes a scrupulous, determined, and successful barrister who would be unlikely to throw that all away for a chance at ginning up evidence against Man City. Were he to cut corners, falsify evidence or do anything other than conduct a serious, objective investigation based on legitimate evidence, he’d risk throwing his impressive career away, ruin his reputation, and face criminal charges of his own. While that’s not an iron-clad guarantee, it’s logic solid enough to build on.

There’s protest, and there’s projection, and I start to suspect the latter. Corrupt people assume that others are also corrupt. For City to squeal like a stuck pig over Rosen’s affinity for the club that happens to play in the city in which he was born and has most of his life suggests a lot more about them than it does about Rosen. Would they have been happier had Rosen admitted to supporting Chelsea or Tottenham? Maybe Palace or Brentford. One starts to wonder if they’d protest a barrister who supports Wimbledon FC.

A defendant charged with crimes who is confident of his innocence—or at least confident that he’ll at least be acquitted—doesn’t worry all that much about potential biases. To try to impugn Rosen’s integrity reveals their own absence of confidence, which might not be the same as presence of criminality. On that note, it’s curious that they haven’t said nearly as much about their innocence as they have about this barrister or the arcane details of the process and the panel. That’s not an admission of guilt, but it does start to smack just a touch of desperation.

None of this will be resolved any time soon, but a points deduction that sees us crowned Prem champions retroactively would be acceptable…

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6 thoughts on “Man City’s knickers in a twist over Arsenal barrister

  1. Eoin

    They’re running scared. There’s no way they can prove that all of their “revenue” was legit and they know it.


      I would love to see them kicked out of the Prem. UEFA may not be serious about enforcing its regulations but may be the Prem is? If Man City go down, they’ll find the lower leagues are even harsher of financial crimes.

    2. jw1

      In fact, it’s already been proven once, in 2019– only to be negated by a timeliness technicality.

      I’m not certain there’s a way for City to refute evidence accepted as fact previously, without digging an even deeper hole.

        1. jw1

          Jon– from what I’ve read, there’s a single appeal available to City. It will remain within the system the FA and PL have created for the hearing of the charges. Cannot be appealed outside to UEFA. So City can’t get to the CAS where they ran out the clock in 2019.

          The appeal would entail replacing the 2 members of the board who hear this upcoming hearing with the exception of Murray Rosen KC, who the constant.

          Got to believe the new appeal panel members have already been chosen as well (since this was made known in February) and brought to speed to keep the matter expeditious.

          The FA and PL IMHO would not have relitigated these charges without the express purpose of making them stick. Punishing City, again IMO, and with massive consequence– might be the FA’s last chance to retain financial oversight over football in England.

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