English champions Manchester City have been banned from European competition for the next two seasons and fined 30 million euros ($32.53 million) by European soccer’s governing body UEFA after an investigation into alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.
UEFA said in a statement https://www.uefa.com/insideuefa/about-uefa/news/newsid=2638659.html that City had committed “serious breaches” of the rules while the Premier League club swiftly said on their website https://www.mancity.com/news/club-news/club-news/2020/february/manchester-city-club-statement 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 break-even 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. Reuters