Paddy Power ‘Task Force’ ship big asterisk to City over 115 FFP prices

Paddy Power have been up to their old tricks – delivering a giant asterisk to the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester City wrapped up their fourth Premier League title on the bounce on Sunday after beating West Ham 3-1. And as City’s stars partied into the early hours, the gambling company’s pranksters were plotting their latest stunt at the expense of the champions.

They delivered a giant asterisk to the Etihad with their ‘Asterisk Task Force’. The asterisk represents City’s outstanding 115 FFP charges, which have been hanging over the success of Pep Guardiola’s side since they were issued by the Premier League in February 2023.

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City have constantly denied all of the accusations. An asterisk delivery van was snapped outside the venue, unloading what the task force claimed was “their biggest asterisk yet”.

A spokesperson for Paddy Power’s Asterisk Task Force explained: “From biddies competing in the local Indoor Bowls Championship on beta-blockers to alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play, we have an asterisk for any job, big or small.

What do you think of Paddy Power’s latest stunt? Let us know in the comments section

“The Asterisk Task Force is on call 24/7, but this latest report pushed even our most seasoned experts to their limits. They had to call for reinforcements when they ran out in the trophy room.”

Paddy Power also released a brief spoof documentary via their social media channels capturing the trials of life on the frontlines of the Paddy Power Asterisk Task Force.

The clip features a hilarious cameo by a well-known former Republic of Ireland International who stalks them with pleas to deliver an asterisk beside their infamous 2010 World Cup playoff against France, when Thierry Henry’s handball denied them qualification for the tournament.

Manchester City
Manchester City wrapped up the Premier League on Sunday

Speaking in April, Premier League chief Richard Masters said the hearing over City’s alleged breaking of the rules will be held in the “near future”. City have always denied the allegations and have vowed to fight the charges, which date back to 2009 and run until 2018.

In that time, City won seven major honours, including three league titles. If they are found guilty of some or all of the charges, they would be looking at a hefty penalty, especially as Everton and Nottingham Forest have both received points deductions for single FFP breaches. The Etihad club could be stripped of the honours and even kicked out of the Premier League.

Every charge will considered by an independent commission. Given the unprecedented nature of the case, predicting the outcome and timescale is virtually impossible, with the hearing potentially taking months to complete.