Man City to find out if two-season ban from UEFA competitions will stand
Last Updated: 10/07/20 6:32pm
Manchester City will find out on Monday at 9.30am whether their appeal against their two-year European ban is successful, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) announced.
City were sanctioned by UEFA’s club financial control body (CFCB) for breaches of club licensing and financial fair play regulations.
City have always vigorously denied any wrongdoing and their appeal against the punishment was heard over three days by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) last month.
CAS issued a statement on Friday evening which read: “The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will announce the decision taken in the arbitration procedure between Manchester City Football Club and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) on Monday, 13 July 2020.”
The statement added that the decision would be published on the CAS website at 10.30am Swiss time (9.30am UK).
Earlier on Friday, City head coach Pep Guardiola said he was confident that his side will participate in the Champions League next season.
The club need just two points from their last four Premier League matches to secure a top-four finish but their involvement in next season’s competition will only be confirmed on Monday.
Guardiola said: “The intention every season is to play in the Champions League and do the best possible. It is not about what will happen on Monday.
“I’m confident because I saw the arguments of the club that next season we will be there but we have to wait and after I give my opinion or the club will give their statement.”
Monday is D-Day for City
Analysis from Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol…
“Manchester City will find out at 9.30am on Monday morning if they can play in the Champions League for the next two seasons. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will announce its decision after City appealed against a two-year ban imposed by Uefa for “serious breaches” of its financial fair play rules (FFP).
“If City’s ban is confirmed, the team who finish fifth in the Premier League – currently Manchester United – will take their place in the Champions League next season.
“Whatever happens City will still be able to carry on playing in this season’s competition when it restarts next month. The competition was suspended in March with City well-placed to reach the quarter finals after winning 2-1 at Real Madrid in a first leg Round of 16 tie.
“This is the first time UEFA has banned a club from the Champions League for two seasons and CAS has the power to overturn the ban or to reduce it to one season.
“Pep Guardiola said last week he was confident the ban would be overturned and repeated his stance in Friday’s press conference. He has already said he will remain as the club’s manager next season even if they are not allowed to play in Europe.
“Missing out on European football would result in a loss of revenue of about £100m a season. Additionally, transfer targets may be reluctant to join a club who are not in Europe and questions would be asked about the futures of some of City’s most valuable players.
“In February, UEFA banned City from Europe for the next two seasons and fined them €30m for “serious breaches” of the FFP rules and for failing to co-operate with the investigation.
“In an interview with City’s in-house media team, chief executive Ferran Soriano said he was “disappointed but not surprised” by the decision.
“City were found to have overstated sponsorship revenue and break-even information in accounts submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016.
“City’s appeal was heard over three days from 8 June to 10 June via video conference by a panel of three arbitrators – Rui Botica Santos, Ulrich Haas and Andrew McDougall QC.
“City hired a high-profile group of lawyers to represent them at the CAS hearing. Their legal team was led by David Pannick QC of Blackstone Chambers and Paul Harris QC of Monckton Chambers.
“Lord Pannick successfully represented Gina Miller against the government in September when the Supreme Court decided the Prime Minister Boris Johnson acted illegally by suspending Parliament.
“UEFA’s lawyers included Dr Jan Kleiner, a partner at Bär & Karrer and co-head of the Swiss firm’s sport practice group, and Mark Phillips QC of South Square Chambers.
“UEFA opened an investigation into City following the publication of documents on the Football Leaks website and Der Spiegel in November 2018. The German magazine said City’s owners had tried to get round FFP rules by putting money into the club disguised as sponsorship income. One document appeared to show that Etihad Airways was paying only £8m of a £67m sponsorship agreement.
“In November last year, CAS rejected an attempt by City to have the case dismissed and the ban overturned on procedural grounds.
“FFP was introduced by UEFA in 2009 to prevent clubs falling into serious financial difficulties by overspending. Clubs are required to operate within their means and meet break-even targets, while dealings have to be transparent.
“City have been Champions League for nine seasons in a row since they qualified for the competition for the first time in 2011/12. They had previously played in the European Cup in 1968.
“City were fined £49m by UEFA in 2014 for breaking FFP rules. £32m of the fine was suspended.
“The Premier League said in March last year it was investigating to see if City had broken any of their financial regulations.”