UEFA has banned Manchester City from playing in any UEFA Club competition including the Champions League for the next two seasons and fined £24.9m for breaching its Financial Fair Play Regulations and Club Licensing Regulations. FutballNews understands that the decision is subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
The European football governing body in a statement on Friday announced that an Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) found the Premier League champions guilty of serious breaches of its rules and regulation. It, therefore, banned the English club from Europe in the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons for also “failing to cooperate in the investigation by the CFCB”.
The statement added that City were guilty of “overstated its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016”. UEFA added that City also failed to co-operate with an investigation by the Independent Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB).
The European football governing body launched an investigation after German newspaper Der Spiegel published leaked documents in November 2018 alleging City had inflated the value of a sponsorship deal, misleading European football’s governing body.
Reports alleged City – who have always denied wrongdoing – deliberately misled Uefa so they could meet FFP rules requiring clubs to break even.City were fined £49m in 2014 for a previous breach of regulations.
Reacting to their ban from Europe for two seasons, City in a statement on Friday night expressed their disappointment towards the CFCB ruling and vowed to appeal it at CAS. The Premier League giants said they are not surprised and described the verdict as “prejudicial”.
The statement, read: “Manchester City is disappointed but not surprised by today’s announcement by the UEFA Adjudicatory Chamber. The club has always anticipated the ultimate need to seek out an independent body and process to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence in support of its position.
“In December 2018, the UEFA Chief Investigator publicly previewed the outcome and sanction he intended to be delivered to Manchester City, before any investigation had even begun. The subsequent flawed and consistently leaked UEFA process he oversaw has meant that there was little doubt in the result that he would deliver. The club has formally complained to the UEFA Disciplinary body, a complaint which was validated by a CAS ruling.
“Simply put, this is a case initiated by UEFA, prosecuted by UEFA and judged by UEFA. With this prejudicial process now over, the club will pursue an impartial judgement as quickly as possible and will, therefore, in the first instance, commence proceedings with the Court of Arbitration for Sport at the earliest opportunity.”
City will face Real Madrid in the last 16 of this season’s Champions League, with the first leg to be played on 26 February at the Bernabeu.