Manchester City could have the opportunity to argue its case before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on June 8 with or without inter-border travels restriction. The basis for this is that CAS has issued a statement announcing that the judicial arm of sports in the world would attend to some cases from the said date through video conference calls.
Recall that a German Newspaper, Der Spiegel, published a leaked document in 2018, alleging that Manchester City inflated the fee the club collected for sponsorship deals in order to cover up for their alleged breach of UEFA’s financial fair play rule. The leaked document made the European football governing body to believe that Manchester City deceived the body.
Hence, the watchdog of UEFA, the Independent Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB), took up the matter and investigated it. At the end of the investigation, the body came out with a report that Manchester City failed to corporate during the investigation.
Besides that, CFCB’s investigation revealed that Manchester City overstated “its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to Uefa between 2012 and 2016”.
The report was convincing enough for Uefa to slam a two-year ban on Manchester City in February 2020. This means that City will not be able to participate in any European competitions during the said period.
However, Manchester City has insisted that the club has not breached any UEFA financial fair play rule guiding the financial operations of a football club in Europe. And described the report of
CFCB as disappointing but not a surprise. The club vowed to appeal the decision of Uefa at CAS, unfortunately, the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has been delaying the move.
Now that CAS has said it is ready to entertain some cases from June 8, Manchester City‘s appeal will be at the top of the agenda. But the world will be watching to see how CAS will do that because it is in the status book of CAS that a written document of an appeal has to be submitted to CAS before the hearing of the appeal will begin. Unfortunately for Man City, that has not been done before the lockdown across Europe.
However, CAS has already scheduled the hearing for June 8; it is expected to last for three days and it won’t be opened to public scrutiny.
City, the reigning Premier League champions are currently in the round of 16 in UEFA Champions League. They are also sitting second to Liverpool on the league table. If the club fails in the appeal, it means that the club won’t be able to participate in any European competition from July 2020.
If the appeal fails to hold before the end of June, it will be another interesting twist to watch since it was the coronavirus pandemic that prevented City from completing the 2019-2020 UEFA Champions League season which should have been done with before the end of June, when the two years ban is expected to commence.