OLIVER HOLT: Premier League boss Richard Masters’ tour of Man City is ABSURD. The longer the case drags on, the more he doubts the champions and the top competition itself

An unfortunate characteristic of Richard Masters is that he never fails to give the impression that there is something he is desperately trying to hide.

When you’re the chief executive of the Premier League, an organization devoted to greed and accumulation, it makes sense that there’s a constant need for reinvention.

Add to that the fact that many of its member clubs are gripped by a visceral fear of the approach of an independent regulator that could force them to contribute more to the wider game, and it was inevitable that the Masters would look as uncomfortable as ever. MPs on Tuesday.

If the League planned its announcement that Everton and Nottingham Forest had been accused of breaching profit and sustainability rules to appear competent and accountable to the select committee, the move backfired horribly.

Masters spent most of the session trying to explain why the Premier League has still failed to agree a fairer revenue sharing deal with the Football League.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters was questioned by MPs on Tuesday

Masters said a date has been set for Man City’s hearing into their alleged 115 breaches of financial rules

Mail Sport’s Oliver Holt believes the longer the case drags on, the more doubt will be cast on Man City and the legitimacy of the Premier League.

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If he had just quoted Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish about supermarkets and corner shops, he could have saved us all a lot of time.

Masters’ evasive, opaque, defensive, flat, uninspired, tone-deaf responses only confirmed suspicions that there is one approach to dealing with clubs like Everton and Forest and another for Manchester City, which faces a legion of allegations of alleged financial wrongdoing.

Masters told MPs with considerable seriousness that a date had now finally been set for the City hearing. Then he said he couldn’t reveal what the date was.

Why not? Why do you need to tiptoe around the City?

Why this constant and absurd cover-up that only gives the impression that the team that dominates football in this country is protected while the book is thrown at Everton and Nottingham Forest?

The sad reality is that, as complicated as it is, the longer the City case drags on, the more it casts doubt not only on the legitimacy of the club’s position in our game, but on the legitimacy of the Premier League itself.

To make matters worse, Masters was able to label Everton and Forest, who have won the European Cup more often than City, as «small clubs».

That, as you can imagine, went well.

Nottingham Forest and Everton have been accused of breaching the Premier League’s spending rules

The Toffees have already deducted 10 points at the start of this Premier League season

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