Manchester City will be able to play in next season’s Champions League after their two-year ban was lifted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) today.
The club will still have to pay a fine, which has been reduced from €30 million to €10m which was another good news.
In its initial statement confirming City’s punishment, UEFA said that it found the Premier League club guilty of “overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts.
And also in the break even information submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016.”
A statement from the CAS said City did not overstate their sponsorship contributions but did fail to cooperate with UEFA authorities.
City responded to the verdict with a statement which read:
“Whilst Manchester City and its legal advisors are yet to review the full ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The club welcomes the implications of today’s ruling as a validation of the club’s position and the body of evidence that it was able to present.
“The club wishes to thank the panel members for their diligence and the due process that they administered.”
UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations aim to maintain the financial health of European football clubs in order to avoid ruination of teams.
This is effectively achieved by limiting the net losses a club is allowed to make over a specified time period.
The ruling also has an impact on the clubs currently below City in the Premier League table.
If the ban wasnt overturned then it meant fifth place would qualify for next season Champions League in place of City.
City immediately denied the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB)’s findings and initiated an appeal against the decision at the first opportunity.
Club CEO Ferran Soriano emphatically declaring:
“The allegations are not true, they are simply not true.”
UEFA’s investigation into the matter was prompted by the publication of a number of allegations by a German magazine.
Which drew on documents said to have been obtained by whistleblowers Football Leaks, in 2018.
Hostility has been simmering between the Premier League giants and European football’s governing body for almost a decade now.
Fans of Manchester City have made a habit of booing UEFA’s anthem when it is played ahead of Champions League games.
Something that has heightened since 2014, when the club first fell foul of Financial Fair Play.