Manchester City has successfully managed to overturn their two-year ban from all European competitions, which was announced on 13th July.
City were handed a two-year ban from Europeans competitions and in February they were issued a £24.9 million fine after being found guilty of “serious breaches” of Financial Fair Play regulations between 2012 and 2016.
UEFA’s club financial control body produced sanctions after it was alleged that Manchester City had broken rules by “overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016″.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) delivered their verdict this week which cleared City of disguising equity funds as sponsorship contributions”.
The club’s ban was fully overturned as the fine was reduced to £9.87 million.
This means that after months of uncertainty, City will be playing in the Champions League next season after mathematically securing the number two spot in the Premier League.
The Sky Blues still have their last-16 second leg match against Real Madrid in Manchester on 7th August. They have the advantage of leading 2-1 from the first leg and could play either Lyon or Juventus if they progress.
Cas will be providing full written statements for the ruling in the next few days and have stated that their decision highlighted that the alleged breaches that were reported by the adjudicatory chamber of the CFCB were outdated and not established.
Cas also added that clearing City’s more serious charges on obscuring sponsorship deals did not mean it was appropriate to ban the club from participating in next seasons European club competitions.
UEFA mentioned that there was “insufficient conclusive evidence to uphold all of the CFCB’s conclusions in this specific case and that many of the alleged breaches were time-barred”.
City were extremely satisfied with the verdict as they could not see the fairness in how the evidence used against them as it was gathered illegally.
However, the club was confident that the two-year ban would be overturned if they received a fair hearing and they now the club can focus on matters on the pitch.
This result has been important for the club as a two-year ban would have had dire consequences for their reputation, finances and chances of holding their best talents.
Instead, the reputation and credibility of the UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations (FFP) lie in a bit of a mess. If one of the richest clubs in the world who were found guilty of interfering in a UEFA investigation walk away with just a £9.87m fine then FFP will have to question how they enforce the rules.