- Manchester City receives a massive fine and huge ban for breaking financial fair play rules
- The club owner has been reported to have been subsidising the massive annual sponsorship of the club
- City say they are being unfairly treated
Manchester City cannot compete in the Champions League for 2 seasons and has been fined €30m (R484m) by Uefa after being found guilty of breaking the financial fair play (FFP) rules and lying to the European football governing body.
Briefly.co.za learned that the scope of the ban reflects how seriously Uefa has taken the break of the FFPrules. City responded with defiance and accused the process if being unfair. They have lodged an appeal with the court of arbitration for sport (Cas).
If the appeal is still pending or not complete by the time the next Champions League season starts then City will be able to compete. However, if the ban is upheld, City will have to sit out for 2 whole seasons, which will have serious consequences for the club.
City was found to have lied about their sponsorship revenues, inflating them. The investigation into financial irregularities at the club was launched after the German newspaper, Der Spiegel, published a story containing 'leaked' emails exposing the club according to the guardian.com
The emails revealed that the club's owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan had been footing most of the massive R1.3bn (£67.5m) annual sponsorship of the City shirt.
“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.” A City source confirmed that Mansour remains fully committed to the club.
Uefa released its own statement.
Uefa said in its statement: “The Adjudicatory Chamber, having considered all the evidence, has found that Manchester City committed serious breaches of the Uefa 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.
FFP was introduced in 2011 to keep costs down in clubs across Europe and that clubs don't overspend on players wages. It restricts the amount of money club owners can use to cover any shortfalls in sponsorship.
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