Manchester City has been successful in their appeal and has overturned their two-year ban from European club competitions. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) announced the club were cleared of “disguising equity funds as sponsorship contributions”. The ban was initially issued by UEFA in February after ruling that City had committed “serious breaches” of Financial Fair Play regulations between 2012 and 2016.
The fine that was given to City has been cut from 30 million Euros to 10 million Euros. On Monday, CAS said City did “fail to cooperate with UEFA authorities” but overturned the decision by UEFA’s club financial control body (CFCB) to ban them. City stated that the decision was a “validation of the club’s position and the body of evidence that it was able to present”.
The ruling provided by this court means that City will be able to play in the 2020-21 Champions League as they are guaranteed to finish second in the Premier League this season. CAS stated that most of the alleged breaches reported by the CFCB were either not established or time-barred.
On reducing the fine, CAS said that, while it considered the importance of co-operation from football clubs and Manchester City’s disregard of the principle, the findings from the evidence showed that UEFA’s imposed bans were far too harsh.
What next for City?
Manchester City will be hugely satisfied with the decision made as their integrity is maintained. Also, the idea of the club losing some of its finest players is also diminished as no European football would have been a huge deterrent for current and future players at the club.
UEFA could appeal against the decision made in the Swiss federal courts. But it is understood that it is not a route that UEFA is keen to go down.