Much to the delight of the fans, Manchester City will be able to participate in the next season’s Champions League as the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has lifted its two-year ban from UEFA events.
Manchester City was to pay a fine of 30 million euros, but the amount has now been reduced by CAS. Pep Guardiola’s team will now have to pay a fine of 10 million only.
CAS ruled that City did not breach Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules by disguising equity funding as sponsorship.
“Most of the alleged breaches reported by the (UEFA) Adjudicatory Chamber of the CFCB were either not established or time-barred,” CAS said in a statement.
The Adjudicatory Chamber of UEFA`s Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) had found City guilty of overstating its sponsorship revenue between 2012 and 2016. UEFA had also ruled in February that City had committed serious FFP breaches and failed to cooperate with its investigation.
“Following a hearing held on 22 January 2020, the Adjudicatory Chamber of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB), chaired by Jose da Cunha Rodrigues, has today notified Manchester City Football Club of the final decision on the case which was referred by the CFCB Chief Investigator,” the UEFA had said in a statement.
Missing out on the Champions League would have cost City, who has denied wrongdoing, as much as 100 million pounds in prize money and broadcast revenue, as well as matchday and other revenues.
The FFP regulations are designed to stop clubs running up big losses through spending on players. They also ensure sponsorship deals are based on their real market value and are genuine commercial agreements.
The club welcomed the ruling and thanked panel members for their diligence and the due process that they administered.
“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. The Club wishes to thank the panel members for their diligence and the due process that they administered,” it said in a statement.