Manchester City likely to escape Champions League ban


Dan Burke

Article image: Manchester City likely to escape Champions League ban

The result of an investigation into Manchester City’s alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play is set to be announced on Friday, according to the New York Times.

And according to The Athletic, it seems the Premier League champions are unlikely to face a ban from the Champions League.

Many had predicted that City would face at least a one year expulsion from European competition after German magazine Der Spiegel published a series of exposés about the club’s financial activities last year.

But City have always strenuously denied all allegations of impropriety, and it seems they will now escape with just a fine or may not receive any punishment at all.

The case was referred to Uefa’s Club Financial Control Board (CFCB) in May and the head of that organisation – former Belgium prime minister Yves Leterme – reportedly recommended the club be banned from the Champions League for one season.

The allegations came as the result of hacked e-mails obtained by Der Spiegel which implied the club had used a number of methods to circumvent Uefa’s Financial Fair Play regulations.

But City argued that the e-mails were taken out of context and in a statement released in May, the club said the decision to refer their case contained “mistakes, misinterpretations and confusions fundamentally borne out of a basic lack of due process” and accused the independent CFCB panel of running a “wholly unsatisfactory, curtailed and hostile process”.

They also claimed Leterme had ignored “irrefutable evidence” during the investigation of the case, adding they were “disappointed but not surprised” by the way it was handled.

The following month, City lodged an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and even if they are not banned from the Champions League, they could still yet enter a legal row with Uefa as the club reportedly do not believe they should even receive a fine.

And whether or not Uefa’s verdict will be challenged by rival clubs or vocal critics such as LaLiga president Javier Tebas remains to be seen.