February 13 – Details have been published by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) revealing that Manchester City sought damages from UEFA for what the club alleged were “unlawful” leaks to the media over an inquiry into possible breaches of Financial Fair Play (FFP).
Last November City lost their appeal to CAS to halt UEFA’s investigation into alleged FFP irregularities.
UEFA had opened the investigation after German publication Der Spiegel reported City’s Abu Dhabi owners had inflated sponsorship agreements to comply with FFP requirements. Some reports suggested City could be thrown out for at least one season if found guilty of misleading the authorities.
It is this that infuriated the English Premier League champions according to CAS’ full judgement of the case which revealed a bitter dispute with UEFA’s chief financial investigator Yves Leterme over leaks suggesting he favoured the club being suspended.
The CAS documents show City accused the investigatory committee of UEFA’s Club Financial Control Board (CFCB) of “unlawful activities” and tried unsuccessfully to have the investigation thrown out. The full appeal judgement show City argued that a decision by the CFCB investigatory chamber to refer the case to its adjudicatory chamber had been taken “improperly and prematurely”.
City further argued UEFA had “systematically breached, and continues to breach, its express obligations of confidentiality”, claiming individuals working within the governing body were briefing reporters.
“These ongoing and egregious breaches undermine the very integrity of UEFA’s adjudicatory process, which is a consensual dispute resolution mechanism with confidentiality at its core,” City said in their written appeal submission.
City told CAS that UEFA should be ordered to undertake a “full investigation into the sources of the leaks in order to identify and take disciplinary measures against the identified sources”.
UEFA, the club said, should also pay “damages to be assessed for losses incurred as a result of the respondent’s conduct”.
According to the CAS documents, Leterme responded to City’s complaints by countering: “Your allegations are groundless in merit and unacceptable in tone.”
City, who face Real Madrid in a mouth-watering last-16 tie in the Champions League, the trophy they crave most, are still waiting to find out whether they will be punished. A verdict from UEFA is understood to be close with the club maintaining there is no case to answer, challenging the legitimacy and haste of the investigation.
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