Following Manchester City’s Friday ban from European competitions by UEFA for “serious financial fair-play breaches”, the club’s manager Pep Guardiola promptly protested what he called a disappointing verdict, even as City said they are exploring an appeal.
City, who were also fined 30 million euros ($32.5 million), announced they were appealing the suspension to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) “at the earliest opportunity”.
“Manchester City is disappointed but not surprised by today’s announcement by the UEFA Adjudicatory Chamber,” the club said on Friday on its website, adding “The… flawed and consistently leaked UEFA process he (the UEFA chief investigator) oversaw has meant that there was little doubt in the result that he would deliver…
“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”.
UEFA issued a statement saying: “The Adjudicatory Chamber has imposed disciplinary measures on Manchester City Football Club directing that it shall be excluded from participation in UEFA club competitions in the next two seasons (ie. the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons).”
European football’s governing body said that City “failed to cooperate in the investigation”.
“The adjudicatory chamber, having considered all the evidence, has found that Manchester City Football Club committed serious breaches of the UEFA Club Licensing and 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,” UEFA said.
City lost a previous appeal to CAS over UEFA’s original decision to refer them to its adjudicatory chamber over the alleged FFP violations. “An appeal would not necessarily lift the suspension but the request can be made,” UEFA told AFP.
City are presently second in the Premier League table, meaning that the fourth Champions League slot available for English teams would likely go to the fifth-placed club this term.