The English giants were accused of being in breach of FIFA’s Financual Fair Play regulations.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Monday lifted the two-year ban of Manchester City from participating in all UEFA competitions, which was issued by the European authoritative body on grounds of violating FIFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations. CAS conducted a three-day hearing and finally arrived at the conclusion that a fine of €10million – which is one-third of the original fine imposed on the club by UEFA – would serve as ample punishment for their actions.
In case you missed it, it was in February that UEFA imposed a fine of €30million on the Premier League side and banned them from all UEFA competitions for two years for breaking FFP norms. They had found that the Sky Blues “committed serious breaches” of FFP regulations between 2012 and 2016 and failed to cooperate with the subsequent investigation.
Within hours of UEFA’s ruling, the club had claimed that the process was “flawed” and said that there was ‘irrefutable evidence’ that would lead to them winning an appeal, which they did to the CAS to reconsider the charges, on June 8.
The official statement issued by the CAS read, “The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision in the arbitration procedure between Manchester City Football Club and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). The Panel of arbitrators in charge of the matter, composed of Mr. Rui Botica Santos (Portugal), President, Prof. Ulrich Haas (Germany) and Mr. Andrew McDougall QC (France), conducted a hearing with the parties, their legal representatives, witnesses and experts on 8, 9 and 10 June 2020.”
The verdict also found Manchester City guilty of breaching Article 56 of Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations.
“The CAS award emphasized that most of the alleged breaches reported by the Adjudicatory Chamber of the CFCB were either not established or time-barred. As the charges with respect to any dishonest concealment of equity funding were clearly more significant violations than obstructing the CFCB’s investigations, it was not appropriate to impose a ban on participating in UEFA’s club competitions for MCFC’s failure to cooperate with the CFCB’s investigations alone.”
Meanwhile, UEFA also commented on the verdict, saying that while they have taken note of the decision, they will “remain committed to FFP’s principles to help clubs become financially sustainable.” The European football’s authoritative body can appeal against the ruling to the Swiss Federal Court, however, it remains to be seen whether they will exercise that right.
If Manchester City’s UCL ban had been upheld with them finishing in the Premier League top four, the final Champions League position would have gone to the team that finished fifth in the league.
However, as they have now been cleared to participate in Europe’s premier footballing competition next season, it has taken a lot of edge off the race for the Premier League fifth place. City’s neighbours Manchester United currently hold that spot with 58 points and could move up to fourth provided they win against Southampton on Monday night.
The Pep Guardiola managed side are also to continue their UCL campaign for this season, currently holding a 2-1 first-leg lead over Real Madrid in the round-of-16. Provided they progress to the quarter finals, they will play either Juventus or Lyon as per the draws announced by UEFA earlier last week.