July 3 – Manchester City are set to learn their European fate on July 13 in a ruling that will have major consequences for both the club and UEFA’s entire financial fair play strategy.
City have appealed against a two-season ban from European competition and €30 million fine imposed by UEFA in February for “serious breaches” of FFP rules.
The club, who recently lost their domestic crown to Liverpool but thumped the new English champions 4-0 on Thursday and seem certain to finish second, are accused of deceiving UEFA in order to comply with the regulations. Announcing its verdict five 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.”
City’s case was heard last month by an arbitration panel comprising Rui Botica Santos (Portugal), president, Prof. Ulrich Haas (Germany) and Andrew McDougall QC (France).
If Manchester City lose their appeal at CAS the decision could cost them an estimated £200 million. Chief executive Ferran Soriano has denounced the allegations as totally untrue but the knock-on effect if they miss out is that the team who finishes fifth this season would take City’s place in next season’s Champions League.
Regardless of the outcome of the appeal, City will be able to complete their campaign in the 2019-20 Champions League. Pep Guardiola’s men won 2-1 at Real Madrid in the first leg of their last-16 tie before the competition was halted by COVID-19.
The CAS verdict was reportedly expected on July 10, but UEFA have apparently asked for it to be pushed back to avoid clashing with the draw for the Champions League quarter-finals, semi-finals and final which takes place on that date.
Should the appeal be successful, it will raise serious questions about UEFA’s entire approach to FFP with Soriano saying before the hearing that the club had “irrefutable evidence” to back up their case.
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