UEFA have slapped Manchester City with a two-year ban from European football following breaches of their Financial Fair Play rules in what could be a landmark ruling.
European football’s governing body have found the reigning Premier League champions guilty of breaking their FFP regulations, with a UEFA statement saying that the club ‘overstated its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016’.
City are accused of overstating sponsorship deals with companies linked to their Abu Dhabi owners in order to circumvent Financial Fair Play regulations.
As punishment, Man City have been handed a €30 million (£25m) fine, though more significantly, have been banned from competing in European competition in the 2020/21 and 2021/22 campaigns.
The ruling is subject appeal through the Court of Arbitration for Sport, an avenue that the club have confirmed they will be going down ‘at the earliest opportunity’, though the Etihad outfit admitted that they were ‘not surprised’ by the judgment.
“Manchester City is disappointed but not surprised by today’s announcement by the UEFA Adjudicatory Chamber,” a statement on the club website reads. “The Club has always anticipated 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.
“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.”