Manchester City have won their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) over alleged financial fair play (FFP) violations and are free to play in the Champions League next season.
This is surely the best news to start the day for Manchester City fans, though their city rivals and Chelsea might not feel the same.
City were originally banned from European competitions for two seasons but won their appeal to CAS, meaning fifth place in the Premier League will no longer qualify for the Champions League. Manchester United occupy fifth in the table as it stands.
A statement from CAS read:
“The CAS award emphasized that most of the alleged breaches reported by the Adjudicatory Chamber of the CFCB were either not established or time-barred.
“As the charges with respect to any dishonest concealment of equity funding were clearly more significant violations than obstructing the CFCB’s investigations, it was not appropriate to impose a ban on participating in UEFA’s club competitions for MCFC’s failure to cooperate with the CFCB’s investigations alone.”
City took their case to CAS on June 8 after they were initially handed a two-year ban from UEFA competition and a €30 million ($33m) fine issued to them by the Adjudicatory Chamber of the Independent Club Financial Control Body (CFCB). Following Monday’s verdict, the fine was reduced to €10m.
As Manchester City’s fate in future European competitions has been decided, UEFA has released a statement in this regard.
“UEFA takes note of the decision taken by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to reduce the sanction imposed on Manchester City FC by UEFA’S independent Club Financial Control Body for alleged breaches of the Uefa Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play regulations.
UEFA notes that the Cas panel found that there was insufficient conclusive evidence to uphold all of the CFCB’s conclusions in this specific case and that many of the alleged breaches were time-barred due to the five-year time period foreseen in the Uefa regulations.
Over the last few years, Financial Fair Play has played a significant role in protecting clubs and helping them become financially sustainable and UEFA and ECA [European Club Association] remain committed to its principles
UEFA will be making no further comments on the matter”