Man City banned from Euro­pean com­pe­ti­tion for two sea­sons by UEFA

Gulf Times - - FRONT PAGE -

English cham­pi­ons Manch­ester City have been banned from Euro­pean com­pe­ti­tion for the next two sea­sons and fined 30mn eu­ros ($32.53mn) by Euro­pean soc­cer’s gov­ern­ing body UEFA af­ter an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into al­leged breaches of Fi­nan­cial Fair Play (FFP) rules.

UEFA said in a state­ment that City had com­mit­ted “se­ri­ous breaches” of the rules while the Premier League club swiftly said that they will ap­peal the de­ci­sion to the Lau­sanne-based Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion for Sport (CAS).

The rul­ing, if up­held, would mean Pep Guardi­ola’s side would not be able to com­pete in the 2020-21 Cham­pi­ons League should they again qual­ify for Europe’s top club com­pe­ti­tion.

They would also be banned from Euro­pean com­pe­ti­tion in the 2021-22 sea­son.

An ab­sence from con­ti­nen­tal ac­tion would have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on the club’s rev­enue as well as their pres­tige.

UEFA’s FFP rules are de­signed to pre­vent clubs re­ceiv­ing un­lim­ited amounts of money through in­flated spon­sor­ship deals with or­gan­i­sa­tions re­lated to the own­ers.

The Ad­ju­di­ca­tory Cham­ber of UEFA’s Club Fi­nan­cial Con­trol Body (CFCB) said City had bro­ken the rules by “over­stat­ing its spon­sor­ship rev­enue in its ac­counts and in the breakeven in­for­ma­tion sub­mit­ted to UEFA be­tween 2012 and 2016” and added that the club “failed to co­op­er­ate in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion”.

But City, who have de­nied any wrong­do­ing, said in a strongly worded re­sponse that they will fight the de­ci­sion.

“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 judg­ment as quickly as pos­si­ble and will there­fore, in the first in­stance, com­mence pro­ceed­ings with the Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion for Sport at the ear­li­est op­por­tu­nity,” the club said.

De­scrib­ing them­selves as “dis­ap­pointed but not sur­prised” by the de­ci­sion, City took aim at the in­ves­ti­ga­tion process.

“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.”

City are cur­rently se­cond in the Premier League and face Real Madrid in the last 16 of this sea­son’s Cham­pi­ons League.

UEFA had opened an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into City in March 2019 af­ter Ger­man pub­li­ca­tion Der Spiegel al­leged that the club’s Abu Dhabi own­ers had in­flated spon­sor­ship agree­ments to com­ply with FFP re­quire­ments.

The Abu Dhabi United Group, the in­vest­ment ve­hi­cle owned by Sheikh Man­sour bin Zayed al-Nahyan, is the ma­jor­ity owner of the City Foot­ball Group, with a stake of around 77%.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Qatar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.