Vincent Kompany is "very sceptical" over those "pointing fingers" at Manchester City after the Premier League charged the club with breaking its financial rules.

City were this week charged with 115 breaches of the Premier League's financial rules between 2009 and 2018 with a range of punitive actions possible if found guilty, including expulsion from the division.

Reigning English champions City stated they were "surprised" by the charges and Kompany, who won four Premier League titles during an 11-year stay with the Citizens during the period under scrutiny, questioned the motive of those criticising the club.

Kompany, now manager of Championship side Burnley, told reporters after the Clarets' 2-1 FA Cup win over Ipswich Town: "I look at [criticism of City] and sometimes roll my eyes a little bit.

"No doubt there's a lot of righteousness in the world to come and tell you what you've done wrong, and then if everybody looks at themselves, I think the football industry in general is not one that can afford to point the finger too many times.

"I think all of you will have a little bit of a smile on your face to know what the football industry is about. I'm very sceptical when people start pointing fingers.

"Do the best for yourself and let's try and improve all the time, but I'm a little bit sceptical when the fingers get pointed easily."

Kompany's Burnley hold a 17-point advantage on third place Middlesbrough as they bid to earn automatic promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

The former centre-back says the promotion race is taking his mind off potential goings-on at City, explaining: "I haven't had the time to even dive into what is undoubtedly an interesting topic. I've more interesting things to worry about at the moment.

"The fixtures actually help me because I've had no time to look into it or feel emotionally connected to what's happening."

Vincent Kompany is "very sceptical" over those "pointing fingers" at Manchester City after the Premier League charged the club with breaking its financial rules.

City were this week charged with 115 breaches of the Premier League's financial rules between 2009 and 2018 with a range of punitive actions possible if found guilty, including expulsion from the division.

Reigning English champions City stated they were "surprised" by the charges and Kompany, who won four Premier League titles during an 11-year stay with the Citizens during the period under scrutiny, questioned the motive of those criticising the club.

Kompany, now manager of Championship side Burnley, told reporters after the Clarets' 2-1 FA Cup win over Ipswich Town: "I look at [criticism of City] and sometimes roll my eyes a little bit.

"No doubt there's a lot of righteousness in the world to come and tell you what you've done wrong, and then if everybody looks at themselves, I think the football industry in general is not one that can afford to point the finger too many times.

"I think all of you will have a little bit of a smile on your face to know what the football industry is about. I'm very sceptical when people start pointing fingers.

"Do the best for yourself and let's try and improve all the time, but I'm a little bit sceptical when the fingers get pointed easily."

Kompany's Burnley hold a 17-point advantage on third place Middlesbrough as they bid to earn automatic promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

The former centre-back says the promotion race is taking his mind off potential goings-on at City, explaining: "I haven't had the time to even dive into what is undoubtedly an interesting topic. I've more interesting things to worry about at the moment.

"The fixtures actually help me because I've had no time to look into it or feel emotionally connected to what's happening."

Erik ten Hag is not concerned by Wout Weghorst's lack of goals since joining Manchester United on loan as he believes the striker is helping to get more out of other players.

Weghorst has started all six of United's matches since arriving from Burnley last month but has scored only once, in the 3-0 EFL Cup semi-final first-leg win at Nottingham Forest.

The 30-year-old has also yet to assist a goal in his 439 minutes on the field and was substituted off shortly before the hour mark in Saturday's 2-1 league win over Crystal Palace.

However, United have scored 13 goals across the six games Weghorst has played in, winning four of those, and he has received the backing of manager Ten Hag.

"He is the one who makes players around him play better," Ten Hag said ahead of Thursday's Premier League meeting with Leeds United.

"As a team we have to work better to anticipate his movements because his movements are good, and quite a lot of times he was close [to scoring]. 

"He had many good actions and already a lot of good contributions to our results. He will score, but in the meantime he will do the other stuff, and do it good."

Weghorst has an expected goals (xG) value of 1.66 since making his debut against Crystal Palace on January 18, which is the fourth most of any United player across that time.

By comparison, United team-mate Marcus Rashford has scored three goals from an xG of 1.98 in that period.

"It is not just about scoring as an individual but scoring from the team," Ten Hag added. "The team has to win. He is doing a very good job at this moment in several aspects."

Weghorst is set to start against Leeds – the first of two league meetings between the sides in the space of four days – as Anthony Martial is once again ruled out with a hip injury.

Martial has not played a full 90 minutes for United in the Premier League since January 2021 against Sheffield United and has started only six games in the competition this term.

Ten Hag has been impressed by what he has seen from Martial, though, and insists the France international is working hard to return to full fitness.

"He is not always available, but also I see the other side when he is available," Ten Hag said. 

"He was never 100 per cent this season but he had a big impact every time he is available, even when he is at 80, 85, 90 per cent.

"I think Anthony Martial is the player who has spent the most hours at Carrington this season, to return to recover, to get back, it is really so a pity for him that he is disappointed.

"He's not always available and we want him to be always available as that will improve our game and because routines can't become routines when you're not always available."

United are unbeaten in their past 17 home league games against Leeds, stretching back to a 1-0 loss in February 1981.

Cody Gakpo's decision to move to Liverpool at such a young age has not served him well, suggests his national team head coach Ronald Koeman.

After an impressive World Cup that saw him score three goals in five games in helping the Netherlands to the quarter-finals, Gakpo joined Liverpool from PSV in January for a reported fee of around £40million (€45m).

However, the 23-year-old forward, who also contributed to 21 goals in 14 Eredivisie matches this season, has endured a tough start to life in England.

He has failed to find the net in his first six games as Liverpool have won just one of their seven matches in all competitions since the turn of the year.

Koeman, in his second spell as head coach of the Netherlands after taking over from Louis van Gaal, is concerned Gakpo's move to an underperforming team at just 23 years old is hampering his development.

Koeman told a YouTube show hosted by former footballer Andy van der Meyde: "He has ended up in a team that is not doing well.

"If you don't score or you're not important and you don't win any matches, it's very difficult, especially for a young player.

"If that was someone aged 28, with experience, it would be different."

Gakpo is not the only Netherlands star to struggle with a new club, with midfielder Ryan Gravenberch yet to start a Bundesliga match for Bayern Munich since signing from Ajax prior to this season.

Koeman feels the inferiority in quality of the Eredivisie in comparison to the top leagues in Europe is making it difficult for young stars to flourish after taking the leap.

"The level in England is higher than in the Netherlands," Koeman added.

"But they are also young boys, aren't they? Like Gravenberch going to Bayern and not playing. Then that is difficult."

Cody Gakpo's decision to move to Liverpool at such a young age has not served him well, suggests his national team head coach Ronald Koeman.

After an impressive World Cup that saw him score three goals in five games in helping the Netherlands to the quarter-finals, Gakpo joined Liverpool from PSV in January for a reported fee of around £40million (€45m).

However, the 23-year-old forward, who also contributed to 21 goals in 14 Eredivisie matches this season, has endured a tough start to life in England.

He has failed to find the net in his first six games as Liverpool have won just one of their seven matches in all competitions since the turn of the year.

Koeman, in his second spell as head coach of the Netherlands after taking over from Louis van Gaal, is concerned Gakpo's move to an underperforming team at just 23 years old is hampering his development.

Koeman told a YouTube show hosted by former footballer Andy van der Meyde: "He has ended up in a team that is not doing well.

"If you don't score or you're not important and you don't win any matches, it's very difficult, especially for a young player.

"If that was someone aged 28, with experience, it would be different."

Gakpo is not the only Netherlands star to struggle with a new club, with midfielder Ryan Gravenberch yet to start a Bundesliga match for Bayern Munich since signing from Ajax prior to this season.

Koeman feels the inferiority in quality of the Eredivisie in comparison to the top leagues in Europe is making it difficult for young stars to flourish after taking the leap.

"The level in England is higher than in the Netherlands," Koeman added.

"But they are also young boys, aren't they? Like Gravenberch going to Bayern and not playing. Then that is difficult."

Life is good at Manchester United right now – and it might be about to get better.

Erik ten Hag has guided United to third in the Premier League, perhaps still in title contention, while they will face Newcastle United in the EFL Cup final.

Rivals Manchester City and Liverpool are facing various crises, and United's ambitions moving forward could be boosted by a lucrative takeover.

After making only loan signings in January as the Glazer family consider selling up, the outlook at Old Trafford might be about to change entirely.

TOP STORY – QATARI-BACKED MAN UTD BID DUE IN DAYS

According to the Daily Mail, a group of Qatari investors plan to buy United and give manager Ten Hag "the financial backing to lead the club back to the top".

The Glazers set a deadline of mid-February for bids, and an offer from the group is expected in the coming days.

The report says the group are confident their bid would "blow the competition out of the water".

This interest in United follows on the back of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, with the investors eager to secure ownership of "the crown jewels" of the footballing world.

ROUND-UP

– The Telegraph is reporting Manchester City's pursuit of Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham is at risk of being torpedoed by their potential financial breaches.

– According to Mundo Deportivo, Cristiano Ronaldo's team Al Nassr have offered 34-year-old Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets a contract worth €18million per season.

Manchester United and Liverpool will both make a run at Eintracht Frankfurt striker Randal Kolo Muani, who impressed for France at the World Cup, per L'Equipe.

– Calciomercato is reporting Juventus will likely allow striker Dusan Vlahovic to leave at the end of the season if they receive a bid in the range of €90m.

– According to the Northern Echo, Newcastle United have made 26-year-old Leicester City midfielder James Maddison a key target.

Reported Leeds United target Carlos Corberan has signed a contract extension as West Brom head coach after links to the Premier League club.

Spaniard Corberan was part of Leeds fan favourite Marcelo Bielsa's backroom staff amid the Argentine's spell at Elland Road.

Corberan subsequently took a head coach role at rivals Huddersfield Town, guiding them to the Championship play-off final in 2022 before resigning amid reported disagreements with the club's board.

Jesse Marsch's dismissal by Leeds on Monday created speculation the Whites would move to bring in Corberan, who has taken West Brom from second-bottom in the Championship to the play-off positions since his appointment in October.

Leeds majority owner Andrea Radrizzani told supporters on Tuesday a decision would soon arrive, posting on Twitter: "We are on it ….hopefully white smoke by tonight or [tomorrow] morning"

But West Brom swiftly dispelled talk of Corberan leaving, posting a teasing clip from British television series Happy Valley that said: "Why's everyone saying you are going to Leeds when you're not?"

"I have enjoyed my time at Albion, and I am pleased to have secured a contract extension," Corberan told the club's official website upon confirmation of his new deal until June 2027.

"I believe that success can only be achieved when everyone works together and the way I have been made to feel welcome at this great club has made me confident that this is the right place for me.

"It is important to me that we do not let this moment distract us from our target, which is to ensure we improve every day, making the team more and more competitive for the challenges ahead.

"My focus is always on earning a positive result in our next game and we are working hard to achieve that at Birmingham City on Friday night."

Feyenoord manager Arne Slot and Rayo Vallecano Andoni Iraola are among the reported favourites for the Leeds head coach vacancy.

Declan Rice is a better player than either Casemiro or Thomas Partey, according to England team-mate Kieran Trippier.

West Ham midfielder Rice is widely expected to be on the move at the end of the season, with the Premier League's top clubs said to be interested.

Manchester United and Arsenal are among those linked, although both have established stars in a holding midfield position.

Indeed, Casemiro and Partey have been two of the standout performers in the Premier League this season, and Trippier, speaking on Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE, could not split "both quality players".

However, the Newcastle United captain was certain Rice ranked ahead of both.

"Declan's unbelievable," Trippier said.

"I don't know if you watched the game the other day, when we played West Ham, but his intelligence, the way he breaks up play and how he travels with it and how powerful... unbelievable.

"He's probably one of the best in the world at what he does.

"Don't get me wrong, Casemiro – the trophies he's won, the Champions League, he's a world-class player.

"But if you're talking right now, honestly, Dec's incredible. He's got the age, as well."

Premier League clubs have become "incentivised to sometimes push the rules to the limit, if not beyond" and Manchester City may not be the only team to face an investigation into their affairs, according to a leading football finance expert.

The Premier League announced on Monday it had referred a number of alleged breaches of the competition's rules to an independent commission, with some of those dating back as far at the 2009-10 season.

In response, City said they had "irrefutable evidence" that would be presented in their defence against the accusations.

Kieran Maguire, author of the book The Price of Football, said isolating City could be seen as making a "scapegoat" of the Premier League champions, and he suspects investigators will also look closely at the finances of other clubs.

Speaking to Stats Perform, Maguire said: "Certainly we have seen some clubs, in terms of the financial submissions that they've made, make fairly significant claims as to the impact, for example, that COVID had on their finances, and they've claimed that COVID cost them money in a myriad of ways, some of which have certainly raised eyebrows as far as observers are concerned.

"So if Manchester City are charged, you would think that Manchester City would say to the Premier League, 'well, you've investigated us and charged us, then surely you have a responsibility to do this for other clubs as well'.

"If the Premier League don't do that, it could be seen that they're trying to make a scapegoat of Manchester City, who are unpopular with certain other elements of the English football establishment because they represent new money, and old money doesn't like new money in all aspects of life, it doesn't have to be sport.

"Therefore you can understand why there's likely to perhaps be enthusiasm for this to move on. And that's going to be bad news for football as a whole because then it becomes who's got the best lawyers, and the best accountants, as opposed to who's got the best strikers and centre-halves and midfield players."

If the independent commission finds City to have breached financial guidelines, they could face a variety of punishments, ranging from fines to points penalties, or even expulsion from the league.

City are controlled by the City Football Group, which is owned by Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Since a 2008 takeover, the club have invested heavily in infrastructure and players to develop the dominant team in England.

It remains to be seen how City come out of this saga, if found to have transgressed.

"There's a lot of politics in English football," said Maguire. "I think that the preferred punishment would be a points deduction, because the argument would be that if it was just a financial punishment, given the wealth of the owners, given that it is effectively a sovereign wealth fund which is the benefactors of Manchester City, that a financial penalty would not actually particularly harm the club.

"Therefore, you need to do something which would be seen within football itself as being a punishment, and also acting as a deterrent should any other clubs with equally benevolent owners decide to take or consider a similar action."

Maguire said City face jealousy and "resentment" from rival clubs, and he believes there would not be such interest if a smaller Premier League club came under the microscope.

"It's because it is Manchester City who have won the Premier League for four years out of the last five, who have reached the Champions League final, who have spent around about $1.3billion in building their squad, that we're having this conversation," Maguire said.

"There is jealousy, there is resentment, there is envy. And there's not a lot of admiration, because football doesn't operate like that. Football is a very, very snarky business, where everybody's trying to put each put other clubs down.

"Changing the culture of football into one of ethics, morality, sustainability, is very difficult because of the nature of the people that own the clubs. They tend to be very successful in their own right. And therefore, they are used to getting their own way.

"And in the world of sport, you can't have 20 Premier League clubs all being successful at the same time. Therefore, they're incentivised to outmanoeuvre each other, and they're incentivised to sometimes push the rules to the limit, if not beyond the limit."

Maguire said world governing body FIFA, having been tarnished by scandal itself in recent years, was "unlikely to be in a position to take a moral high ground".

"And it then just simply becomes a game of whack-a-mole, as the authorities find one loophole, they bring a sticking plaster to solve it," Maguire said. "And then you're always in a room with a smarter accountant and a smarter lawyer who will come up with yet another scheme."

Erik ten Hag feels bringing back the fear factor for teams coming to Old Trafford is key to restoring Manchester United to their former glories.

Ten Hag's men have rattled off 13 straight victories in home matches, helping United to third in the Premier League while also securing their place in the EFL Cup final and the fifth round of the FA Cup.

United will look to make it 14 consecutive victories at Old Trafford when they host rivals Leeds United on Wednesday, looking to capitalise on Arsenal and Manchester City both losing over the weekend.

Ten Hag was asked about the importance of getting teams to dread facing United in their own backyard, to which he replied: "It was one of our aims this season to get that back.

"It's part of the process to restore Manchester United. It's great to have the connection with Old Trafford."

Despite United's impressive home form, Ten Hag wants his team to play with the same confidence and freedom on the road, having won just five of their 11 league games away from Old Trafford this season.

"I think home form is good," he added. "The next step is to have that same personality away as we do at home.

"When we play away we have a lot of fans following us and we can do the same away. Pitches are the same size and it is still 11 against 11. 

"We can grow, we still have steps to make but happy with that as well."

The Red Devils will fancy their chances of picking up another three points against Leeds, who sacked head coach Jesse Marsch on Tuesday with the team winless in seven league games and only outside the relegation zone on goal difference.

Ten Hag acknowledged how important the rivalry was for the two sets of supporters, while also expressing his sympathy for Marsch following the American's dismissal.

"It's the match of the roses," Ten Hag said. "It's definitely a big game in this part of England and a big game for us.

"We have City, we have Liverpool, but as well for our fans this game means so much. Our players are aware of that and will know what to do.

"It's always sad if a manager gets sacked. In general, I don't believe it that you sack a manager and get better results.

"Most of the time it doesn't work. But the pressure is high with decision-makers at football and they turn, but if you see the facts, most of the time it doesn't work out well."

Ten Hag will be without a number of key players for Wednesday, with Scott McTominay, Antony and Anthony Martial all absent with injury while Casemiro will serve the first game of his three-match suspension for grabbing the throat of Will Hughes in the 2-1 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday.

But Ten Hag is expecting victory and says he will not accept any excuses should they not achieve that, adding: "I always have to play with the players who are available and we have a squad.

"We have many good players in our squad who are not playing in the starting XI. 

"After a game, I can't say, 'Casemiro is not there, Anthony Martial is not there'. We have to win. United are capable and we have to win the games no matter who is on the pitch."

Chelsea have hired the All Blacks mind coach who introduced a "no d***heads" policy as Graham Potter looks to turn the Blues into winners.

Heavy investment in players since Todd Boehly came in as owner has not yet been followed by success on the pitch, with Chelsea a disappointing ninth in the Premier League.

Thomas Tuchel was sacked in September and his replacement, Potter, is battling to prove he can be the coach to deliver strong results and trophies to Stamford Bridge.

Now Gilbert Enoka is heading to the London club after making an impressive impact in rugby union with New Zealand over the past 20 years.

Enoka, who stepped up from being mental skills coach to become leadership manager with New Zealand, will join up with Chelsea on what New Zealand said was a "short-term consultancy basis".

The incoming expertise should be a boost to Potter, with the widely acclaimed Enoka having been part of an All Blacks set-up that won Rugby World Cup titles in 2011 and 2015.

Chelsea have spent around £600million on new players in the past two transfer windows, without their sprees having had any obviously positive effect on results, and installing a positive mindset appears to be what they are looking at achieving.

Enoka revealed in early 2017 how his famous policy functioned within the New Zealand ranks, saying: "A d***head makes everything about them.

"We look for early warning signs and wean the big egos out pretty quickly. Our motto is, 'If you can't change the people, change the people'."

Manchester United will reportedly aim to sell Harry Maguire, Anthony Martial and Alex Telles after the season to fund the purchase of a new marquee talent.

The Old Trafford side are said to be investigating a number of targets expected to cost in excess of £100million, including Napoli striker Victor Osimhen, Tottenham talisman Harry Kane and West Ham midfielder Declan Rice.

United are very familiar with Premier League stars and England internationals Kane and Rice, while Osimhen has enjoyed a rise to prominence this season with the Serie A leaders.

With 16 goals in 17 league appearances this campaign, the 24-year-old Nigerian has already set a new personal best goal tally, and he has been one of the driving forces for a Napoli team sitting 13 points clear at the top.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED IDENTIFY LIKELY SALES TO FUND NEW SIGNING

According to the Manchester Evening News, Telles, Maguire and Martial have all been identified as players United would like to cash-in on to at least partially pay for a new £100m signing.

That report states Kane and Osimhen are the primary targets, as well as Benfica striker Goncalo Ramos and Ajax midfielder Mohammed Kudus.

Meanwhile, Talksport adds that United had a £100m bid for Rice turned down by West Ham before the season, but that he could be pried away at the end of the campaign for £120m plus add-ons.

United are willing to pay £107m (€120m) for Osimhen, and they expect competition from Chelsea, per The Express.

 

ROUND-UP

– AS is reporting United are interested in 29-year-old Atletico Madrid winger Yannick Carrasco. Barcelona have the option to purchase the Belgian for €20m, but if they pass, Atletico will listen to offers from the Premier League.

Paris Saint-Germain will rival Barcelona in the pursuit of Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva, per Le10Sport.

– According to The Athletic, Real Madrid believe Jude Bellingham will choose the Premier League if he leaves Borussia Dortmund. 

– 90min is reporting Chelsea are scouting 23-year-old Porto goalkeeper Diogo Costa as they look to address the position at the end of the season.

Inter have added 25-year-old Fulham defender Tosin Adarabioyo to their list of potential replacements for outgoing centre-back Milan Skriniar, per Tuttomercatoweb.

At the end of February 2022, Leeds United bosses had seen enough.

"This has been the toughest decision I have had to make," said chairman Andrea Radrizzani at the time.

Leeds had taken just one point from six games, leaving them only two points above the relegation zone. A 4-0 home defeat by Tottenham was the final straw for Marcelo Bielsa, who was dismissed on February 27. 

At the beginning of February 2023, Leeds United bosses had again seen enough as they parted company with Bielsa's successor Jesse Marsch.

Leeds have taken just three points from their past seven games, leaving them level on points with Everton in the final relegation spot, albeit having played a game fewer than the three teams below them.

Unlike Bielsa, who ended the club's long wait to get back into the Premier League and then guided them to a ninth-placed finish in their first season back, Marsch never truly won over the fanbase.

Whereas Bielsa had murals dedicated to him all over west Yorkshire throughout his time in change, with his exit doing little to impact the esteem he's held in around Leeds, Marsch's year in charge will likely soon be a distant memory.

Indeed, the 95-word statement put out by the club on Monday confirming his departure – with no comment from Radrizzani or his peers – was as brutal as it was damning.

And so Leeds are now on the lookout for a new man to keep them in the division, with Carlos Corberan – who has impressed in his four months at West Brom – the early frontrunner to take charge.

Bielsa is also reportedly among the contenders to succeed the man who succeeded him, while Mauricio Pochettino, Ange Postecoglou and Ralph Hasenhuttl have been touted as other options.

New manager bounce?

Pulling the plug on Marsch's tenure was a big call by Leeds chiefs, coming in the same week they face Manchester United in back-to-back Premier League games.

It will be only the second time in the competition's history that the same two teams have met in successive games, following Arsenal's 2-0 and 4-2 wins over Bolton Wanderers in January 2010.

Leeds are in a race against time to bring a new man in before the first of those games at Old Trafford on Wednesday, although they then have a further four days ahead of welcoming their fierce rivals back to Elland Road.

As it stands, Marsch's assistant Chris Armas, who previously worked as Ralf Rangnick's right-hand man at Old Trafford last season, is expected to oversee the midweek match in Manchester.

A new manager bounce would come in handy for at least one of those games. In the view of many Leeds fans, simply having anyone other than Marsch in the dugout will boost their chances of getting a result.

Whether it be a caretaker or a permanent head coach, though, history suggests bringing in someone new ahead of playing United very rarely pays off.

Of the 16 previous occasions a manager or caretaker has taken charge of his first Premier League match against United, the Red Devils have won 12 times, drawn once and lost only three times.

However, the most recent such instance was just three months ago when Unai Emery inspired Aston Villa to a 3-1 home win against Erik ten Hag's side, ending United's nine-match winning run in such encounters.

Emery joins an elite list that also includes Alan Curbishley and a certain Jose Mourinho, who masterminded wins over United in their first Premier League games in charge of West Ham and Chelsea respectively.

Little joy for Leeds

Perhaps a more telling statistic, though, is the one that highlights just how badly Leeds have performed in this fixture down the years, regardless of who has been at the helm.

Leeds have won only one of their past 17 Premier League games against the team from across the Pennines, with that a 1-0 victory in September 2002.

That winless run goes back even further when only accounting for top-flight matches played at Old Trafford, where they were last victorious in February 1981. 

Returning to the elite after 16 years away has done little to change the one-sided nature of this fixture, with Leeds losing three of their four meetings over the past two campaigns and drawing the other.

The 15 goals they have conceded against United in 6-2 5-1 and 4-2 defeats are second only to the 16 shipped against Manchester City over that same period.

Furthermore, since the start of last season, Leeds have taken just one point from their eight games against sides starting the day in the top three.

Marsch or not, this was always going to be a match in which the odds were stacked massively against Leeds, particularly with their opponents on a 13-game winning streak at Old Trafford in all competitions.

That is the Red Devils' best run since a record 20 wins in a row between December 2010 and September 2011.

Plenty to play for

Ending that barren run will go a long way to boosting Leeds' survival hopes, although ultimately whoever comes in will have 16 matches after this week's unique double-header to steer the Whites to safety.

Without a win in seven Premier League games, with that the longest ongoing run of any side, it hardly came as a big surprise to see Marsch given his marching orders on the back of 1-0 loss at Nottingham Forest.

The American departs with a Premier League win percentage of 25 across his 32 matches, which is the second-lowest of any Leeds boss in the division after Eddie Gray (24 per cent).

Another new era now beckons at Elland Road, and whoever it is that replaces Marsch will have their work cut out in the short term keeping Leeds above the dotted line.

Whether that can be achieved remains to be seen. But if we have learned anything about Leeds throughout the Premier League era, it is that it will certainly make for entertaining viewing either way.

Leeds United have sacked head coach Jesse Marsch after less than a year in charge.

The American was hired at the end of February 2022 following the dismissal of Marcelo Bielsa but suffered the same fate less than a year later.

Marsch steered Leeds to Premier League survival last season, after Bielsa was shown the door with the Whites only two points above the bottom three.

It was hardly an emphatic end to the season, however, with Leeds' 2-1 win over Brentford on the last day of the campaign ensuring their safety in 17th place.

Leeds lost key players Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips in pre-season, but those departures contributed to Marsch being able to invest heavily in the squad.

Including the January additions of Maximilian Wober, Georginio Rutter and Weston McKennie, who arrived on loan last week, the West Yorkshire club are reported to have spent £129million this season.

Many of those to arrive were known to Marsch, who had previously worked with three Red Bull franchises: RB Leipzig, Salzburg and New York Red Bulls.

Four of their signings this term came from those teams, highlighting how Marsch was entrusted to build a squad in his image.

But he leaves the club having not overseen a Premier League win since before the World Cup, with the 4-3 defeat of Bournemouth on November 5 their last victory.

Since then they have failed to win seven successive matches, though even that is not their worst winless run of the campaign – after beating Chelsea 3-0, they managed just two points from eight games.

The final straw came in Sunday's 1-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest, when a section of Leeds fans could be heard chanting for Marsch to leave.

The loss left them only out of the relegation zone on goal difference, though Everton – level with them on 18 points – have a game in hand.

Marsch's coaching staff have also been dismissed, with the process of appointing a new head coach already under way.

The Leeds hierarchy took action ahead of a Premier League double-header with bitter rivals Manchester United.

Manchester City have welcomed their alleged breaches of financial regulations being brought before an independent commission, having been "surprised" by the Premier League's claims on Monday.

The league has referred a number of alleged breaches of the competition's rules – which stretch back as far as the 2009-10 season – to the commission.

But a City response claimed the club had a "comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence" in their defence.

"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," a statement read.

"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 Premier League said City had breached rules relating to providing accurate financial information, specifically in respect to the club's revenue, including sponsorship revenue and operating costs, between the seasons of 2009-10 and 2017-18, as well as remuneration details for managers and players between the 2009-10 and 2015-16 campaigns.

The competition also referred City to the commission due to the club's failure to comply with UEFA's Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations between 2013 and 2018.

In 2020, City had a two-year ban from European football overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport for these breaches. The club were fined €10million for a failure to cooperate, down from an initial €30m, but were allowed to play in UEFA's international club tournaments.

City are also said to have breached Premier League rules around profitability and sustainability in the 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons.

The Premier League further claimed City failed to cooperate with or assist their investigation by providing documents and information relating to each season, including the ongoing one, since the start of the 2018-19 campaign.

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