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Man City banned from European competition for two seasons by UEFA


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Man City banned from European competition for two seasons by UEFA

By Simon Evans

 

2020-02-14T191517Z_1_LYNXMPEG1D1LF_RTROPTP_4_SOCCER-ENGLAND-MCI.JPG

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester City v Burnley - Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain - October 20, 2018. Manchester City badge REUTERS/Darren Staples

 

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - English champions Manchester City have been banned from European competition for the next two seasons and fined 30 million euros ($32.53 million) by European soccer's governing body UEFA after an investigation into alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.

 

UEFA announced in a statement https://www.uefa.com/insideuefa/about-uefa/news/newsid=2638659.html that City had committed "serious breaches" of the rules while the Premier League club swiftly said on their website https://www.mancity.com/news/club-news/club-news/2020/february/manchester-city-club-statement that they will appeal the decision to the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

 

The ruling, if upheld, would mean Pep Guardiola's side would not be able to compete in the 2020-21 Champions League should they again qualify for Europe's top club competition. They would also be banned from European competition in the 2021-22 season.

 

The top four teams in the Premier League qualify for the Champions League and City are currently second -- should the ban stand then the fifth-placed team would take their spot.

 

An absence from Europe would have a significant impact on the club's revenue and their prestige. Liverpool earned 111 million euros from UEFA for winning last season's competition.

 

The Premier League said in March that it had opened its own investigation into City and FFP after UEFA began its probe.

 

UEFA's FFP rules are designed to prevent clubs receiving unlimited amounts of money through inflated sponsorship deals with organisations related to the owners.

 

The Adjudicatory Chamber of UEFA's Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) said City had broken the rules by "overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016" and added that the club "failed to cooperate in the investigation".

 

But City, who have denied any wrongdoing, said in a strongly worded response that they will fight the decision.

 

"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," the club said.

 

INVESTIGATION PROCESS

 

Describing themselves as "disappointed but not surprised" by the decision, City took aim at the investigation 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 has formally complained to the UEFA Disciplinary body, a complaint which was validated by a CAS ruling."

 

City face Real Madrid later this month in the last 16 of this season's Champions League as Guardiola tries to secure a trophy that the club have never won.

 

Spanish La Liga head Javier Tebas welcomed the punishment.

 

"UEFA are finally taking decisive measures. Enforcing financial fair play rules and punishing financial doping is essential for the future of football. We've been asking for severe action against Manchester City and Paris Saint Germain for years. Better late than never," tweeted Tebas.

 

In March 2019, PSG won a legal battle against UEFA after the governing body tried to reopen its investigation into the French club's spending on transfer fees and wages.

 

UEFA opened an investigation into Manchester City that month after the publication of 'Football Leaks' documents led to allegations that the club’s Abu Dhabi owners had inflated sponsorship agreements to comply with FFP requirements.

 

Reuters reported extensively on City and FFP issues arising from the Football Leaks documents in The Soccer Files https://www.reuters.com/investigates/section/soccer-files series.

 

The Abu Dhabi United Group, the investment vehicle owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is the majority owner of the City Football Group, with a stake of around 77%.

 

The City Football Group includes the Manchester club and owns or part-owns New York City FC, Melbourne City FC, Yokohama F. Marinos in Japan, Club Atletico Torque in Uruguay, Girona FC in Spain and Sichuan Jiuniu FC in China.

 

($1 = 0.9222 euros)

 

(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Ken Ferris)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-02-15

 

 

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The fun is being sucked out of the beautiful game by decisions like this.   I'm sending a full dossier on Bredbury to UEFA and demanding this be reversed so I can take the proper <deleted

No. Manchester City was owned by Thaksin Shinawattra until the FA rules he was an inappropriate person to own it. He had to sell, which he did to a member of the Abu Dhabi government for a large profi

EPL should strip them of all points won whilst rorting the salary cap.

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1 minute ago, petermik said:

No.....Etihad Airways

I see, that's from the united arab emirates right? The ones who organize the world championship soccer soon?

 

I'm not into soccer hence my questions...

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2 minutes ago, Mick501 said:

EPL should strip them of all points won whilst rorting the salary cap.

If they do, you'd expect it to begin congruently with the European ban

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2 minutes ago, BangrakBob said:

If they do, you'd expect it to begin congruently with the European ban

Not sure how much the overreporting would have increased their spending power, but no doubt it was significant.  If that's the case, they should be retrospectively stripped of any points and titles obtained whilst they were cheating.

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2 hours ago, fruitman said:

I see, that's from the united arab emirates right? The ones who organize the world championship soccer soon?

 

I'm not into soccer hence my questions...

 

Qatar host the next World Football championships not the UAE.

 

Etihad is the airline of Abu Dhabi the richest of the UAE member states.

 

 

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44 minutes ago, crabbie2020 said:

They deserve it but will buy their way out like Qatar bought the World Cup etc etc. Corruption from the Middle to Far East!!!

 

FIFA and UEFA both totally corrupt. Run by Blatter and Plattini for years before their corruption was finally exposed. Neither organization changed much though since then.

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Good move. They should do the same with the Spanish clubs. It´s unfair for all leagues they don´t allow the 100% ownership of one person, like all clubs in the German Bundesliga.

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30 minutes ago, Baerboxer said:

 

No. Manchester City was owned by Thaksin Shinawattra until the FA rules he was an inappropriate person to own it. He had to sell, which he did to a member of the Abu Dhabi government for a large profit.

 

That's why they have sponsorship from Etihad too.

The outgoing Manchester City owner Thaksin Shinawatra doubled his money in just over a year by making a £20m profit when he sold the club to Sheikh Mansour of Abu Dhabi, according to well-placed sources.

 

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2008/oct/08/manchestercity.premierleague

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