Jose Mourinho has given his view on Manchester City’s appeal against a two-season ban from European football, calling the verdict ‘a disgraceful decision’.
City successfully appealed UEFA’s decision to ban the club from the Champions League for breaching Financial Fair Play regulations, with the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling in the club’s favour with the decision announced on Monday.
Despite being permitted access to next season’s Champions League, City were still hit with a fine of €10 million – a reduction from their initial sanctions of a two-season ban and €30m fine to the governing body.
Tottenham manager Mourinho has blasted the ‘disgraceful’ decision to overturn City’s European ban while still handing them a fine, believing the initial sanctions were appropriate if City are guilty of financial breaches.
“It’s a disgraceful decision,” Mourinho said at his pre-match press conference. “Because if Man City are not guilty of it, then to be punished with 10 million fine is a disgrace as a decision. If you’re not guilty you should not be punished.
“The other way, if they are guilty then you should be banned from the competition, so it is also a disgraceful decision. In any case, the decision is a disaster.”
“I’m not saying Man City are guilty, I’m saying if you are not guilty, you don’t pay, even with a pound. I know that money for them is quite easy, but it’s just a principle.”
Lawyer’s of the Court of Arbitration for Sport imposed the reduced fine given City’s refusal to comply with UEFA’s investigation into their FFP conduct, with the panel saying the Etihad side had shown a ‘disregard’ for the principle that clubs must cooperate with the governing body’s investigations.
UEFA are still to release the full details of their decision, their initial statement saying that ‘most of the alleged breaches were either not established or time-barred’.