May 20 – The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has set aside three days in June to hear Manchester City’s eagerly anticipated appeal against a two-year ban from European competition for breaching financial fair play rules.
The case will be heard June 8-10, CAS said, though it is unclear if a hearing will be held by video link or in person in Lausanne, Switzerland.
No timetable has been set for a verdict but a ruling will be needed before English teams enter next season’s Champions League draw. The draw in Monaco is scheduled for August 27 but could be pushed back because of the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and the fact that this season’s competition first needs to be completed. In the round of 16, where the tournament has reached, City beat Real Madrid in the first leg in Spain, with the return postponed since March
City were banned by UEFA in February for “serious breaches” and have been accused of deceiving UEFA in order to comply with the regulations. Announcing its verdict three months ago, UEFA said the Abu Dhabi-owned club was guilty of “overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016.”
UEFA’s Adjudicatory Chamber also said City had “failed to cooperate in the investigation of this case”.
UEFA also fined the current English champions €30 million after an investigation that was sparked by leaked documents published in November 2018 by German magazine Der Spiegel.
City’s chief executive Ferran Soriano has denounced the allegations as totally untrue.
“The fans can be sure of two things. The first one is that the allegations are false. And the second is that we will do everything that can be done to prove so,” he said recently.
The ruling, if upheld, would mean City would not be able to compete in the 2020-21 Champions League and would also be banned from European competition the following campaign.
The knock-on effect of that would be the team that finishes fifth in the Premier League this season would qualify for the Champions League in City’s place, and similarly for clubs qualifying for the Europa League.
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