As has been confirmed by a number of highly-reliable sources this evening, Premier League champions Manchester City have been slapped with a 2-season Champions League ban, and hit with a hefty fine, after being found guilty of breaching Financial Fair Play rules.
City’s serious infraction
The bombshell announcement regarding City’s punishment comes on the back of an in-depth investigation into the club’s financial situation.
This investigation, on the part of UEFA, was reportedly sparked by Der Spiegel in November of 2018.
At the time, the German publication leaked a number of emails and documents, highlighting the fact that Manchester City had falsely inflated the club’s revenue gained through sponsorship, in a bid to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations.
The documents in question revealed that Citizens owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan was almost single-handedly funding the club’s £67.5 million annual sponsorship deal with Etihad.
In fact, one leaked email suggested that just £8 million of this annual sum actually came courtesy of Etihad themselves during the 2015-16 campaign.
All relevant information courtesy of the Guardian
City made an example of
And, as outlined above, this is a breach which has evidently been taken extremely seriously by UEFA, with European football’s governing body having slapped the Manchester giants with a two-season ban from the Champions League, starting in 2020-2021.
In addition, City will be forced to fork over a hefty £25 million fine.
UEFA’s statement on the matter reads as follows:
‘The Adjudicatory Chamber, having considered all the evidence, has found that Manchester City committed serious breaches of the Uefa Financial Fair Play Regulations by overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to Uefa between 2012 and 2016.’
‘The Adjudicatory Chamber has also found that in breach of the regulations the club failed to cooperate in the investigation of this case by the CFCB.’
‘Disappointed but not surprised’
The Sky Blues, meanwhile, have since released a statement of their own in response to UEFA’s decision.
The board at the Etihad have revealed that they are not at all surprised by the sanction facing the club, citing a ‘flawed and consistently leaked’ process.
As such, the English champions are set to present an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport imminently:
‘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. ‘