Manchester City‘s Champions League ban has been overturned, the Court of Arbitration for Sport has announced. City were punished by UEFA in February for breaking financial fair play rules. City were said to have breached club licensing and financial fair play regulations.
It was claimed City had ‘overstated its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to Uefa between 2012 and 2016’.
Last season’s Premier League champions denied any wrongdoing and the case was heard by the CAS last month.
And the CAS have now confirmed the decision has been overturned.
City’s fine has also been reduced from £25million to £8million in a huge win for the club.
Pep Guardiola’s side are now free to play in the Champions League next season.
CAS released a statement on Monday morning, which read: “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.”
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City commented on the verdict, adding: “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.”
There were worries whether City’s stars would quit the club if their Champions League ban was upheld.
However, the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero will now stay at the Etihad Stadium after their successful appeal.
The verdict makes a mockery of financial fair play and further questions will arise over the idea.
However, UEFA released a statement after the verdict, insisting they’re still committed to FFP principles.
It read: “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 5 year time period foreseen in the UEFA regulations.