‘Disappointed but not surprised’ : Man City Vows to Appeal Ban from European Football

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“Simply put, this is a case initiated by UEFA, prosecuted by UEFA and judged by UEFA” –  Manchester City

 

Manchester City Football Club have announced that they will appeal the decision of the independent Adjudicatory Chamber of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body ( CFCB) to ban them from European Football for two seasons ( 2020/2021 and 2021/2022) and pay a 30M Euros fine.

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The Adjudicatory Chamber found Manchester City guilty of ” serious breaches”  of UEFA Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations( FFP)by “overstating its sponsorship revenues in its accounts and in the break even information submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016”

UEFA announced Friday it was banning Manchester City Football Club from European Football for two seasons and fined the Club 30M Euros.

It is reported that Manchester City  deliberately misled UEFA so they could meet FFP rules requiring clubs to break even.

Manchester City on Friday Evening said they were ” disappointed” but not ” surprised” by the ruling according to a Club Statement and that they will commence appellate proceedings as ” quickly as possible”

” 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(CAS) at the earliest opportunity” The Club 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”

According to Manchester City, the decision of the Adjudicatory Chamber was predetermined and arrived at without due regard to  judicial process.

” 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 further says in the Statement.

” Simply put, this is a case initiated by UEFA, prosecuted by UEFA and judged by UEFA”

How successful have previous appeals been? ( BBC Sport Analysis)

CAS did uphold a Europa League ban for Turkish club Bursaspor in 2015 when it appealed.

But last year, AC Milan’s ban from this season’s Europa League for breaching FFP and licensing regulations was overturned by CAS , which told UEFA  that the punishment was not proportionate and that the adjudicatory chamber had not properly assessed some “important elements”.

In February, Galatasaray also won a challenge at CAS against the adjudicatory panel when it reopened an investigation into the Turkish club.

The following month, CAS also upheld Paris Saint-Germain’s appeal against Uefa reopening a probe into their finances up to June 2017.

This will perhaps give Man City some encouragement, but those cases are very different to theirs – based on technicalities and time limits. And it is thought that Uefa’s investigators feel more confident that they have a solid argument this time.

That may be because this case is unusual in that City stand accused of misleading Uefa’s investigators, rather than simply a conventional FFP breach of inflating the value of a sponsorship deal and failing to break even.

It has been noted by some at Uefa that City are insisting they have provided evidence that proves that the “accusation of financial irregularities remains entirely false”, but in their statements they do not refer to the more pertinent allegation that they may have misled investigators.

What are the FFP rules?

Financial Fair Play was introduced by UEFA to prevent clubs in its competitions from spending beyond their means and stamp out what its then president Michel Platini called “financial doping” within football.

Under the rules, financial losses are limited and clubs are also obliged to meet all their transfer and employee payment commitments at all times.

Clubs need to balance football-related expenditure – transfers and wages – with television and ticket income, plus revenues raised by their commercial departments. Money spent on stadiums, training facilities, youth development or community projects is exempt.

The CFCB, set up by UEFA, has the ultimate sanction of banning clubs from Uefa competitions, with other potential punishments including warnings, fines, withholding prize money, transfer bans, points deductions, a ban on registration of new players and a restriction on the number of players who can be registered for Uefa competitions.

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