Manchester City’s Champions League Ban Lifted
Manchester City’s Ban Lifted
UEFA issued the European ban in February for alleged “serious” breaches of club licensing and financial fair play regulations.
The club said: “Whilst Manchester City and its legal advisers are yet to review the full ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the club welcomes the implications of today’s ruling as a validation of the club’s position and the body of evidence that it was able to present.”
The club’s ban from European competition has been lifted, it will still have to pay a €10m (£8.9m) fine – down from an initial €30m (£26.9m) penalty.
It means the club will be playing in next season’s Champions League, after it clinched a top four finish in the Premier League with Saturday’s win over Brighton.
UEFA opened an investigation into City in 2019 following allegations the club’s Abu Dhabi owners overstated sponsorship revenues to comply with the financial fair play requirements.
Man City has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and dismissed the probe as “flawed” and “prejudicial”.
The club later appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in the hopes of still being able to take part in the competition.
CAS found that City had not disguised equity funding as sponsorship, but said they had failed to co-operate with investigators.
Reacting to the court decision, UEFA said it “remains committed” to the principles of financial fair play, which means that clubs only spend what they earn.
It added: “UEFA notes that the CAS panel found that there was insufficient conclusive evidence to uphold all of the CFCB’s conclusions in this specific case and that many of the alleged breaches were time-barred due to the five-year time period foreseen in the UEFA regulations.”
The club still remains under investigation by the Premier League, which is looking into the same allegations as well as claims over City’s recruitment of academy players and third-party ownership.