Manchester City banned from the Champions League for next two seasons

UEFA have confirmed that Manchester City have been banned from the Champions League for the next two seasons over Financial Fair Play (FPP) breaches. City have also been fined €30 million after the club was found to have misled UEFA as well as breaking FFP rules. UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) discovered that City falsely inflated their sponsorship revenues.

UEFA said in a statement, “Following a hearing held on 22 January 2020 the Adjudicatory Chamber of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB), chaired by Jose da Cunha Rodrigues, has notified Manchester City Football Club of the final decision on the case which was referred by the CFCB Chief Investigator.”

“The Adjudicatory Chamber, having considered all the evidence, has found that Manchester City Football Club committed serious breached of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations by overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016.”

It was also discovered that in the breach of regulations the Club failed to cooperate in the investigation of this case by the CFCB. City have been imposed with disciplinary measures directing the club that it shall be excluded from participation in the UEFA club competitions in the next two seasons.

“The decision of the Adjudicatory Chamber is subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). If Manchester City Football Club exercises that right, the full reasoned decision of the Chamber will not be published prior to publication of the final award by the CAS.”

City came under fire when leaked emails and some documents were uncovered by German outlet Der Spiegel back in November 2018 suggested that the club were in search of ways of falsifying revenue streams. As per reports by The Guardian, club owner Sheikh Mansour was alleged to have been funding the £67.5 million deal with Etihad to sponsor City’s stadium and kits and further leaks proved that only £8 million from that sponsorship in the 2015-16 financial year came directly from the airline.

City have released a statement condemning the decision which says, “Manchester City is disappointed but not surprised by today’s announcement by the UEFA Adjudicatory Chamber. The Club has been always anticipating 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.”

City then claimed that with all the prejudicial process over now, the club will try for 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.

It will be very difficult for City to get out the trouble as Financial Fair Play breached are now being taken very seriously and it is almost impossible to escape once found guilty. 

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