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Manchester City’s Champions League ban lifted


Manchester City will be free to play Champions League football next season after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) lifted a two-season ban from European competitions imposed by UEFA on Monday.

An initial
fine of 30 million euros ($34 million, £27 million) was also reduced to 10
million euros on appeal.

City were
accused of deliberately inflating the value of income from sponsors with links
to the Abu Dhabi United Group, also owned by City owner Sheikh Mansour, to
avoid falling foul of financial fair play (FFP) regulations between 2012 and
2016.

The case
against City was reopened when German magazine Der Spiegel published a series
of leaked emails in 2018.

However,
CAS found that “most of the alleged breaches reported by the Adjudicatory
Chamber of the CFCB (UEFA Club Financial Control Body) were either not
established or time-barred”.

City
welcomed the decision that will have huge ramifications on the club’s finances
and potentially the future of manager Pep Guardiola and star players such as
Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling.

“Whilst
Manchester City and its legal advisors are yet to review the full ruling by the
Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the club welcomes the implications of
today’s ruling as a validation of the club’s position and the body of evidence
that it was able to present,” City said in a statement.

“The
club wishes to thank the panel members for their diligence and the due process
that they administered.”

Since
Sheikh Mansour’s takeover 12 years ago, City’s fortunes have been transformed
from perennially living in the shadow of local rivals Manchester United to winning
four Premier League titles in the past eight years among 11 major trophies.

On
Saturday, they secured qualification for the Champions League for a 10th
consecutive season with a 5-0 win at Brighton.

More
silverware could come before the end of the season as Guardiola’s side face
Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday before restarting their Champions
League campaign in August, holding a 2-1 lead over Real Madrid from the first
leg of their last 16 tie.

City’s
victory in court will raise fresh questions over how effectively UEFA can
police FFP.

But
European football’s governing body said it remained committed to the system
which limits clubs to not losing more than 30 million euros, with exceptions
for some costs such as youth development and women’s teams, over a three-year
period.

“UEFA notes that the CAS panel found that
there was insufficient conclusive evidence to uphold all of the CFCB’s
conclusions in this specific case and that many of the alleged breaches were
time-barred due to the five-year time period foreseen in the UEFA regulations,”
UEFA said in a statement. “Over the last few years, Financial Fair Play
has played a significant role in protecting clubs and helping them become
financially sustainable and UEFA and ECA remain committed to its
principles.”

Source Link: Manchester City’s Champions League ban lifted

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