Manchester City have been banned from Uefa club competitions for two years after committing “serious breaches” of licensing and financial fair play (FFP) regulations.
The ban will start from the 2020/21 season and run the following campaign, meaning Man City will not be able to compete in the Champions League or Europa League until 2022/23. Man City will also have to pay a fine of €30 million.
Man City’s “serious breaches” are alleged to have taken place between 2012 and 2016, a period during which Uefa accuse them of overstating its sponsorship revenue in accounts.
A statement released on Friday evening said that Uefa’s Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) “has found that Manchester City Football Club committed serious breaches of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations by overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016.”
Uefa also accused City of breaching regulations by failing to cooperate with its investigation before outlining the two-year suspension the organisation’s club competitions.
The statement continued: “The Adjudicatory Chamber has imposed disciplinary measures on Manchester City Football Club directing that it shall be excluded from participation in UEFA club competitions in the next two seasons (ie. the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons) and pay a fine of €30 million.
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Uefa explained that City may now appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, a neutral third party often called in to settle disputes, adding: “The decision of the Adjudicatory Chamber is subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). If Manchester City Football Club exercises that right the full reasoned decision of the Adjudicatory Chamber will not be published prior to publication of the final award by the CAS.”
How have Man City responded to the UCL ban?
While shock spread across the football world and thoughts as to the future of Pep Guardiola and Premier League participation in the Champions League, Man City were quick to respond.
The club, while admitting they were not surprised by the sanction, have confirmed their intention is to appeal the decision through CAS. Chelsea took similar measures after Fifa banned them from registering players for two transfer windows. Their sanction was partially upheld, meaning the ban was reduced to just one transfer window.
“Manchester City is disappointed but not surprised by today’s announcement by the UEFA Adjudicatory Chamber,” City’s statement said.
“The club has always anticipated the ultimate need to seek out an independent body and process to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence in support of its position.
“In December 2018, the UEFA Chief Investigator publicly previewed the outcome and sanction he intended to be delivered to Manchester City, before any investigation had even begun. The subsequent flawed and consistently leaked UEFA process he oversaw has meant that there was little doubt in the result that he would deliver.
“The club has formally complained to the UEFA Disciplinary body, a complaint which was validated by a CAS ruling.
“Simply put, this is a case initiated by UEFA, prosecuted by UEFA and judged by UEFA. With this prejudicial process now over, the club will pursue an impartial judgment as quickly as possible and will therefore, in the first instance, commence proceedings with the Court of Arbitration for Sport at the earliest opportunity.”
Man City’s next game in Europe takes place in late February against Real Madrid. Before then, they play West Ham in the Premier League.