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No evidence Man City broke FFP rules but they failed to cooperate - CAS


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No evidence Man City broke FFP rules but they failed to cooperate - CAS

By Simon Evans

 

2020-07-28T185837Z_1_LYNXNPEG6R1ID_RTROPTP_4_SOCCER-UEFA-CITY.JPG

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester City v West Ham United - Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain - February 19, 2020 General view of a Manchester City badge on a rain soaked seat before the match REUTERS/Phil Noble

 

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - UEFA's claim that Manchester City "disguised equity funding" from their owners was "unsubstantiated" but the club showed "blatant disregard" to the Financial Fair Play investigation, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said on Tuesday.

 

The CAS panel that heard Premier League City's appeal published their full reasoning for overturning the English club's two-year ban from European football earlier this month.

 

The decision allows City to compete in next season’s elite Champions League competition.

 

Sport’s highest court also reduced the fine for City's failure to cooperate with UEFA to 10 million euros ($11.72 million) from 30 million euros.

 

European soccer’s governing body UEFA ruled in February that City had committed serious FFP breaches and failed to cooperate with its investigation.

 

The FFP regulations are designed to stop clubs running up big losses through spending on players. They also ensure sponsorship deals are based on their real market value and are genuine commercial agreements and not ways for owners to pump cash into a club to get around the rules.

 

UEFA opened an investigation into City in March 2019 after the publication of 'Football Leaks' documents led to allegations that the club’s Abu Dhabi owners inflated sponsorship agreements to comply with the FFP requirements.

 

The leaked documents included club emails which referred to money being “routed” through sponsors.

 

CAS ruled that the leaked documents could be used as evidence but noted that they did not prove the existence of any actual transactions that broke UEFA's rules and no evidence was produced that such payments were carried out.

 

The court also pointed out that the leaked emails were distributed internally and not sent to sponsors or other parts of the club's United Arab Emirates based owners.

 

The panel also said that some of UEFA's charges related to material that was over five years old and was therefore time-barred according to UEFA's own rules.

 

City did not supply UEFA's investigation with the original emails related to the leaked documents but CAS also noted that UEFA did not "pursue" that evidence before the hearing.

 

"UEFA's approach in this regard is understood, because it was faced with a dilemma between trying to obtain additional evidence and having an award issued before the start of the 2020/2021 UEFA club competitions season," said the CAS panel.

 

Explaining the decision to overturn the ban, CAS said that the charge of "dishonest concealment of equity", which was unproven, was more serious than the failure to cooperate with UEFA's investigation.

 

"The majority of the panel therefore does not consider it appropriate to impose any ban... for MCFC's failure to cooperate with the investigations alone," the judgment concluded.

 

($1 = 0.8532 euros)

 

(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Ken Ferris)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-07-29
 
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Frankly. No. Not that I care about your explanations or your clubs pleas of innocence.. your owners  blatent use of English football to cover their other nastyness won't ever go away and personally I

An absolute clusterfuk. What a joke. Blatant cheats

I did gather that from reading detail 😁. You know I love you jangles 😍

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1 hour ago, BangrakBob said:

An absolute clusterfuk. What a joke. Blatant cheats

 

From a supporter of a club who fought decades for justice, I find that comment absolutely abhorrent. We fully cleared ourselves in CAS, who are impartial and yet mud slingers like yourselves still carry on. The whole case was brought about from a few e-mails out of 5 million that were not only stolen and taken out of context but had also been doctored. 

 

We got fully cleared of the charge of breaching FFP, so the mud slingers still throw the mud about why we still got fined, even though the reasons are out there.  I know it doesn't suit your narrative to understand some facts but just in case your mind is still a tad open, the M.E.N put it better than I can

 

Quote

They seized on the fact that CAS had criticised the Blues for refusing to cooperate with the initial investigation by Uefa's semi-independent Club Financial Control Body (CFCB).

 

That, they declared, was proof that City HAD done something wrong. After all, why would you refuse to cooperate if you had nothing to hide?

 

That is a superficial and ultimately ludicrous take on the issue, and one which was explicitly contradicted by the CAS panel itself.

City had many good reasons not to cooperate with the CFCB investigation, not least the fact that their own lawyers advised them not to do so.

 

The club said from the outset that the Football Leaks hacked emails which were published by German newspaper Der Spiegel to spark the pursuit of City, was a “clear and organised” attempt to damage their reputation.

 

Uefa were under enormous pressure to act on those emails, which – when viewed in the manner presented by Der Spiegel – seemed to be pretty damning, even though City claimed from the start that they had been taken out of context.

 

Uefa eventually acted, launching an investigation based solely on what they had read in Der Spiegel, the emails which City lawyers referred to as “criminally obtained documents” throughout the CAS hearing.

 

It also very quickly became clear that Uefa were prepared to break their own rules, specifically a five-year limitation on breaches of financial fair play (FFP), and that one or more people privy to Uefa’s inner workings was leaking details of the investigation to the media.

 

So City were refusing to cooperate with a Uefa investigation which was based on a theft, which was breaking the body's own rules, and which was being leaked to the media.

 

Who WOULD cooperate in those circumstances?

 

Full Manchester Evening News article :- https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/ffp-cas-mancity-verdict-cooperation-18688496

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Mate you will never hear anything else but what you want to hear about your beloved club because it will tear it all down. I know you are a smart man, it's just pure denial. The fact you would even quote the M.E.N. of all publications is absurd. 

 

UEFA and CAS and their panel of 3 are an absolute mockery. 

 

Your club negotiated what was already a world football record 10 year sponsorship deal upwards four times in 3 years. #Joke 

 

You weren't fully cleared of anything, just a document riddled with multiple "not sufficient evidence" that's not "no evidence" #guilt

 

Things that were said in authentic emails by City execs whatever years ago, are overridden by City telling CAS that didn't happen in 2020. #lies

 

Time-barred charges, insufficient evidence due to non-cooperation, obstruction of a legit inquiry. #result

 

And your manager as the guile to demand an apology. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I repeat what I said above.  We have been found innocent of any wrongdoing. Don't care no more what the scousers or anybody else thinks who can't be bothered to read the detail. We can all sling mud. Enjoy your first title

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25 minutes ago, mrbojangles said:

I repeat what I said above.  We have been found innocent of any wrongdoing. Don't care no more what the scousers or anybody else thinks who can't be bothered to read the detail. We can all sling mud. Enjoy your first title

I did gather that from reading detail 😁. You know I love you jangles 😍

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Bob, clearly the CAS Award does not suit your agenda (and most on here) -  I can understand that, but based on your 'rants' I suspect you either haven't read the 93 page CAS Award and/or you don't understand legal process (otherwise you definitely wouldn't be criticising an impartial arbitration panel, and the findings in the case). 

 

For your information, some 'points' of the proceedings were won by UEFA, for example, UEFA's argument that 'The Settlement Agreement does not bar UEFA from charging MCFC for the issues at stake in the arbitration proceedings') but main point coming out of the proceedings - and frankly the only one that matters - was that CAS was "not comfortably satisfied that MCFC disguised equity funding from Sheikh Mansour and / or his company ADUG as sponsorship contributions from Etihad". 

 

As a flavour of the CAS Report, of the six Spiegel emails used by UEFA, there was one they were particularly relying upon for their case which was: 

"sent 10 years ago AND TWO YEARS BEFORE the implementation of the CLFFPR [FFP]. So even if [UEFA's allegations were] true, AT THE TIME there would have been NOTHING WRONG with channelling equity funding through sponsors. There is no evidence that similar arrangements were made AFTER the implementation of the CLFFPR." 

CAS statement (I applied the capitals)! 

 

I would suggest you to read it first, and then if it raises any concerns for you we can discuss/debate them here. 

 

 

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CAS Award stated that:
"There is no doubt that UEFA carries the burden of proof in establishing that MCFC committed the breaches for which it is charged.
The Parties also agree that the standard of proof is that of comfortable satisfaction.
...MCFC finds that the allegations made by the CFCB in the present proceedings are of the utmost seriousness and that, in those circumstances, the weight of the evidence to discharge the standard of proof is especially high, effectively beyond reasonable doubt.
...The Panel agrees that the standard of proof is that of comfortable satisfaction and that the seriousness of UEFA's allegations does not increase such standard to effectively being beyond reasonable doubt.
...considering the particularly severe nature of the allegations in the present proceedings, the evidence supporting such allegation must be particularly cogent."

 

Means, UEFA you'd better prove your case with cogent evidence not innuendo! They couldn't

 

"...as argued by MCFC, UEFA's case with respect to funding being channeled through unidentified third parties is based on innuendo and does not meet the requisite standard of proof". CAS Statement.

 

 

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To save you having to read the 93 page CAS Award (I enjoyed reading it, naturally), I found this article written by a Barrister (not the Lawyer who supports City I have quoted from before) - I don't know if he has any allegiance to any club. His profile from his Chambers website refers to "Thomas is also developing a sports law practice, and has recently founded Football Law".

 

The article does a great job of summarising a 93 page document, reasonably briefly and it's readable.

 

https://www.footballlaw.co.uk/articles/mcfc-v-uefa-rubbish-in-rubbish-out

 

You could however save yourself the trouble of reading it all and go straight to the final paragraph in which he states:

 

"Nevertheless, in this author’s opinion, having now read the CAS Decision, this entire dispute appears over-hyped and demonstrative of an element of desperation from UEFA to pin a charge on MCFC. The absence of cogent evidence from UEFA / the CFCB is astounding and this author is in disbelief that the AC Decision, let alone the Referral Decision, was made on the basis of the evidence available"

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22 hours ago, BangrakBob said:

I did gather that from reading detail 😁. You know I love you jangles 😍

If you're going to take them to task do it properly. Don't give up half way through and confess your love 🙄

 

Wet as <deleted>. 

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15 hours ago, RickG16 said:

If you're going to take them to task do it properly. Don't give up half way through and confess your love 🙄

 

Wet as <deleted>. 

I don't know if you noticed, but no matter what anyone says in this regard they are can hear but they aren't listening. Waste of time.  

 

Jangles is a nice bloke, If wish to pursue a dead end with that other eejit,  you know it isn't worth it. 

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On 7/31/2020 at 8:46 AM, BangrakBob said:

Mate you will never hear anything else but what you want to hear about your beloved club because it will tear it all down. I know you are a smart man, it's just pure denial. The fact you would even quote the M.E.N. of all publications is absurd. 

 

UEFA and CAS and their panel of 3 are an absolute mockery. 

 

Your club negotiated what was already a world football record 10 year sponsorship deal upwards four times in 3 years. #Joke 

 

You weren't fully cleared of anything, just a document riddled with multiple "not sufficient evidence" that's not "no evidence" #guilt

 

Things that were said in authentic emails by City execs whatever years ago, are overridden by City telling CAS that didn't happen in 2020. #lies

 

Time-barred charges, insufficient evidence due to non-cooperation, obstruction of a legit inquiry. #result

 

And your manager as the guile to demand an apology. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still fined them 10 mil.   Sounds a lot for being innocent.

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2 hours ago, 3 minus 2 said:

Still fined them 10 mil.   Sounds a lot for being innocent.

You've misunderstood.

 

We were found not guilty of the main charge of disguising equity as sponsorship payments, and we got a (REDUCED) fine for not cooperating with UEFAs proceedings.

 

City's fine by UEFA was reduced by a third by CAS. The reason CAS fined City is as extracted below from the CAS document:

 

"MCFC’s failure to cooperate with the CFCB’s investigation, the majority of the CAS Panel found that MCFC breached article 56 of the CLFFPR in failing to cooperate with the CFCB’s investigation in respect of two separate issues:

1. Witness evidence from two people had been requested from MCFC by the CFCB chief investigator to be put before the IC but MCFC did not provide such witness evidence from those two people until the this appeal. Those people’s evidence was significant as they were authors of emails in the Football Leaks documents.

2. The CFCB chief investigator had also requested that MCFC provide complete and accurate copies of the Football Leaks documents and ‘MCFC only (partially) complied with this request over one year later by letter dated 18 May 2020 in the present appeal arbitration’."

 

The two witnesses UEFA wished to cross-examine, City brought to the CAS hearing.

 

The original 6 emails UEFA used in its case, City provided to the CAS hearing. Interestingly one of the six Der Spiegel emails when compared to City's original email in the hearing, was found to have been 'doctored' (altered)! A case on 6 emails and one of them was tampered with. Another of the six was from 2010 which was BEFORE FFP even existed.

 

Why did City not provide the witnesses is up to conjecture (most likely because City didn't trust getting a fair hearing by UEFA which they would by impartial CAS).

 

Why didn't City provide UEFA with the originals of the 6 emails. Because they had been hacked / stolen, because City would therefore not acknowledge or deny their authenticity, and because they relied upon the ruling by the Portuguese court which had stated in the hackers case (Pinto) that "Mr Pinto is not a whistleblower, but is an extortionist, and that the stolen documents should not be used against his victims".

 

Basically City didn't trust UEFAs fairness, but DID trust getting a fair hearing by CAS, consequently

City got a rap on the knuckles (a fine) by CAS for not playing ball with UEFA, BUT ultimately City's gameplan of getting an independent and impartial CAS hearing worked.

 

Hope that explains.

 

 

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Frankly. No. Not that I care about your explanations or your clubs pleas of innocence.. your owners  blatent use of English football to cover their other nastyness won't ever go away and personally I hope they  eufa come back and prove all or most, cos as eggs are eggs your arab owners are 'at it' and that eufa probably wouldn't be able or prepared to compete financially with the almost limitless funds and time your owners would throw at them...

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