Manchester City are reportedly ‘confident’ that they can deliver ‘irrefutable evidence’ when their appeal is heard by the court of arbitration for sport this week against their ban from European competition.
The reigning Premier League champions were slapped with a two-year exclusion from continental competition back in February, as well as being handed a €30 million fine, after being found guilty of ‘overstating its sponsorship revenue’ between 2012 to 2016 in a bid to circumvent UEFA’s financial fair play regulations.
Full details of Man City being banned from Champions League for TWO SEASONS for "serious breaches" of UEFA financial rules pic.twitter.com/sYVG5orSRt
— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) February 14, 2020
The Citizens – who have maintained their innocence throughout – immediately outlined their intention to appeal the ruling, an appeal which will now be heard by CAS this coming week, with the Telegraph reporting the club are ‘confident’ of being able to deliver ‘irrefutable evidence’ as they look to overturn the decision.
The whole investigation came on the back off a number of leaked documents and hacked emails, which were published by German outlet Der Spiegel, with the Etihad based outfit having already accepted a £49 million fine for breaking FFP rules back in 2019.
Aside from denying the accusations, Man City have also accused UEFA of unfair treatment and having a lack of impartiality in their investigation process, while they were unhappy at leaks to the media by investigator Yves Leterme before the outcome had been announced.
Pep Guardiola has insisted that he will remain at the club regardless of the appeal outcome, though influential playmaker Kevin de Bruyne has offered no such assurances, suggesting that he could leave in search of European football.
While the decision would likely have a profound impact on Guardiola’s side, there will be many keen onlookers from across the Premier League, with the potential for a fifth-placed finish being enough to qualify for next season’s Champions League should the decision be upheld – a position currently held by their local rivals, Manchester United.
City are still of course in the running to win this season’s edition of Europe’s premier competition, which is now expected to take place in August, the Blues currently holding a 2-1 lead over Real Madrid in their last 16 tie.