November 18 – Manchester City have lost their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to halt UEFA’s investigation into alleged financial fair play irregularities.
City went to CAS in the summer to block UEFA’s pursuit of a possible Champions League ban over “alleged non-compliance with UEFA’s Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play (FFP) Regulations.”
UEFA had opened the investigation in March after German publication Der Spiegel reported City’s Abu Dhabi owners had inflated sponsorship agreements to comply with FFP requirements. Some reports have suggested City could be thrown out for at least one season if they are found guilty of misleading the authorities.
City, desperate the win Europe’s showpiece club trophy for the first time, are now expected to face judgement from UEFA’s adjudicatory chamber in December, with the potential to also go back to CAS. The club is claiming there is no case to answer, challenging the legitimacy and haste of the investigation.
“Today the CAS ruled that the appeal filed by Man City was inadmissible,” said Matthieu Reeb, the tribunal’s general secretary.
CAS argued that City were not entitled to appeal at this stage because an arbitration case can be taken to CAS only against an actual disciplinary or final decision of a sports governing body. It pointed out UEFA’s financial control body (CFCB) has not yet determined what, if any, punishment would be applied if they were found guilty.
The five-person adjudicatory chamber chaired by José Narciso da Cunha Rodrigues is set up to be judicially independent of the UEFA administration and its panels.
City reportedly declined to comment when asked about the CAS ruling but previously said the referral to UEFA judges “ignores a comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence provided by Manchester City.”
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