Manchester City win appeal at CAS as Champions League ban is lifted

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Jul 13, 2020, 02.05 PM(IST) Written By: Subhayan Chakraborty

Manchester City. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Manchester City on Monday won their appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in their case against UEFA relating to a two-year ban on participating in the UEFA Champions League. Man City are set to play in the Champions League next season.

Manchester City on Monday won their appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in their case against UEFA relating to a two-year ban on participating in the UEFA Champions League. Man City are set to play in the Champions League next season.

Earlier, Man City were handed a two-year ban from participating in European competitions as the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) found the Blues guilty of contravening UEFA's Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play (FFP) Regulations. The club had filed an appeal at the CAS and the verdict came out on Monday. UEFA had also ordered Man City to pay a fine of 30 million euros beside their two-year ban. 

Manchester City, from day one, had pleaded guilty in the case which started from hacked e-mails obtained by Football Leaks and published by Der Spiegel. UEFA had started their investigation based on the allegations by 'certain publications' and found the club guilty. 

However, the club will breathe a sigh of relief as they are now free to participate in the Europe's elite competition. However, Man City will have to pay a fine of 10 million euros for contravening Article 56 of the Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations.

Statement from the Man City: "Whilst 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."

Statement from UEFA: "UEFA takes note of decision to reduce sanction imposed on Man City. Notes panel found that there was insufficient conclusive evidence to uphold all of CFCB’s conclusions in this specific case + many of alleged breaches were time-barred due to the 5 year time period.

"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 remain committed to its principles."

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Full statement from CAS on Man City vs UEFA:

"The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision in the arbitration procedure between Manchester City Football Club and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).

"The case concerns an appeal filed by Manchester City FC (MCFC) against the decision of the Adjudicatory Chamber of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) dated 14 February 2020 in which it was deemed to have contravened UEFA’s Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations and sanctioned with exclusion from participation in UEFA club competitions in the next two seasons and ordered to pay a fine of EUR 30 million.

"The Panel of arbitrators in charge of the matter, composed of Mr Rui Botica Santos (Portugal), President, Prof. Ulrich Haas (Germany) and Mr Andrew McDougall QC (France), conducted a hearing with the parties, their legal representatives, witnesses and experts on 8, 9 and 10 June 2020.

"Following the hearing, the CAS Panel deliberated and concluded that the decision issued on
14 February 2020 by the Adjudicatory Chamber of the CFCB should be set aside and replaced by the
following:

a.) MCFC has contravened Article 56 of the Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations.
b.) MCFC shall pay a fine of EUR 10,000,000 to the UEFA, within 30 days as from the date of
issuance of the arbitral award.

"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.

"However, considering i) the financial resources of MCFC; ii) the importance of the cooperation of clubs in investigations conducted by the CFCB, because of its limited investigative means; and iii) MCFC’s disregard of such principle and its obstruction of the investigations, the CAS Panel found that a significant fine should be imposed on MCFC and considered it appropriate to reduce UEFA’s initial fine by 2/3, i.e. to the amount of EUR 10 million.

"The final award with reasons will be published on the CAS website in a few days."