Football giants hit with jaw-dropping ban
Manchester City have been banned from all UEFA competitions for the next two seasons and fined $A40m for "serious breaches" of Financial Fair Play regulations.
An Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) found the Premier League champions guilty of serious breaches of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations.
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In a statement, UEFA said City "overstated its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016".
The club were also found guilty of "failing to co-operate in the investigation of this case by the CFCB".
The severity of the financial and playing impact this ban would have on Man City means I think they’ll throw full legal might at getting it turned over - which means they probably succeed...— Ed Malyon (@eaamalyon) February 14, 2020
But if this punishment stands in current form it’s a watershed moment in modern footbal
Man City say they are "disappointed but not surprised" by the verdict, describing the process as "prejudicial", and will take the case to Court of Arbitration for Sport.
They released a statement, reading: "Manchester City is disappointed but not surprised by today's announcement by the UEFA Adjudicatory Chamber. The club has always anticipated the ultimate need to seek out an independent body and process to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence in support of its position.
"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.
Big move by UEFA to ban Man City for two years, but City will appeal and this will drag on. Would be a surprise if anything resolve before the start of next season.— Mark Ogden (@MarkOgden_) February 14, 2020
"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 judgement as quickly as possible and will therefore, in the first instance, commence proceedings with the Court of Arbitration for Sport at the earliest opportunity."
PREMIER LEAGUE STANDINGS
If Manchester City finish in the top four and their ban is upheld by CAS, it would mean a Champions League place would go to the team who finish fifth in the Premier League.
UEFA rule 4.08 states: "A club which is not admitted to the competition is replaced by the next best-placed club in the top domestic championship of the same association, provided the new club fulfils the admission criteria. In this case, the access list (see Annex A) is adjusted accordingly."
Sheffield United currently are fifth in the Premier League table on 39 points, two points ahead of Tottenham who have a game in hand.
REACTION TO SHOCK BAN
The news of Manchester City's shock ban and monster fine sent the football world into meltdown with fans unable to comprehend just what had unfolded.
Many expect the legal battle to drag on with no instant ramifications for the club, but the news was still jaw-dropping.
Wow just heard about Man City and their UEFA comps ban. Will this mean 5th gets Champions League the next two seasons assuming City finish in the top 4. Which they will.— Rikki Clarke (@RikkiClarke81) February 14, 2020
100% certainty that @ManCity will appeal to Cas. But two year CL ban is far more severe than anybody expected. Sets up legal battle royal— Martin Lipton (@MartinLipton) February 14, 2020
There's no way Pep Guardiola is hanging around at Man City if that Champions League ban sticks.— Graham Ruthven (@grahamruthven) February 14, 2020
This article originally appeared on Sky Sports and was reproduced with permission.