Manchester City Hit with Two Year Euro Ban, €30m Fine

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MANCHESTER CITY

UEFA came down really hard on Manchester City today, punishing the giant northwest England club for breaching Financial Fair Play rules. As a result, City will not be allowed to participate in UEFA club competitions (Champions League or Europa League) for the next two seasons and they must also pay a fine of €30 million ($32.5 million).

The European football ruling body punished Man City harshly for falsely reporting what they earned from corporate partners and for violating licensing agreements. City said they would appeal as soon as possible to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Friday saw a massive ruling against one of the richest and most powerful football clubs in the entire world.

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“Manchester City Football Club committed serious breaches of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations by overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016,” the UEFA statement read.

“[The Adjudicatory Chamber [of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body] has also found that in breach of the regulations the Club failed to cooperate in the investigation of this case by the CFCB.”

Here is the statement in full from Manchester City, in response to today’s ruling:

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.  

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 ruling, if upheld, puts the long term future of manager Pep Guardiola up in the air. His contract is expiring soon, and he’s made previous public statements about how his success will be judged by UCL results.

Should the ruling stick it will also adversely affect player recruitment in the next four transfer windows.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link

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