ENGLISH giants Manchester City have managed to overturn the two-year Champions League ban imposed by Uefa in February, according to the latest reports on Monday.
As a result, the recently dethroned Premier League champions will be free to play in European competition next season, after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) overturned the European football governing body’s decision. Reports also suggest the initial €30 million (R570 million) fine was also reduced to €10 million (R190 million).
City were found to have committed “serious breaches” of Uefa’s club licensing and financial fair play (FFP) regulations by deliberately inflating the value of income from sponsors with links to the Abu Dhabi United Group, also owned by City owner Sheikh Mansour, to avoid falling foul of FFP regulations between 2012 and 2016.
Cas had enough cause to dismiss the case against City as, according to the statement it released in the immediate aftermath of the ruling, it found: “most of the alleged breaches reported by the Adjudicatory Chamber of the CFCB (Uefa Club Financial Control Body) were either not established or time-barred”.
As expected, the English club welcomed the decision, which could potentially influence the future of manager Pep Guardiola in addition to a band of players, including, Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling. The club released a statement which read:
“While Manchester City and its legal advisors are yet to review the full ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the club welcomes the implications of today’s ruling as a validation of the club’s position and the body of evidence that it was able to present. The club wishes to thank the panel members for their diligence and the due process that they administered.”
City’s victory in court will raise fresh questions over how effectively Uefa can police FFP. But European football’s governing body said it remained committed to the system which limits clubs to not lose more than the initial fine imposed on City, with exceptions for some costs such as youth development and women’s teams, over a three-year period.
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