Former English Premier League champions, Manchester City, will be playing in the UEFA Champions League next season, despite a two-year ban imposed on them by UEFA’S Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) in February.
The Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Monday overturned the ban, negating the CFCB’s verdict which sought to punish the Pep Guardiola-tutored football club for “breaching UEFA’s Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations”.
The CAS ruling said in part: “MANCHESTER CITY FC DID NOT DISGUISE EQUITY FUNDING AS SPONSORSHIP CONTRIBUTIONS BUT DID FAIL TO COOPERATE WITH THE UEFA AUTHORITIES.”
Following Monday’s hearing, the CAS Panel deliberated and concluded that the decision issued on 14 February 2020 by the Adjudicatory Chamber of the CFCB should be set aside.
Rather, it ruled that Man. City FC only contravened Article 56 of the Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play regulations.
As such, the court slashed the fine initially imposed on the club by the CFCB to 10 million Euros, payable to UEFA, within thirty days as from the date of issuance of the arbitral award.
The CAS award emphasised that most of the alleged breaches reported by the CFCB were either not established or time-barred.
City had not obstructed the CFCB’s investigations, and as such, it was not appropriate to ban the club from taking part in UEFA’s club just because the former English champions had failed to cooperate with the CFCB’s investigations, the CAS ruling said.