The bomb was dropped on Friday evening by UEFA: Manchester City, double holder of the Premier League title, will not be able to participate in any European competition during the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 seasons. A press release from the association representing European football was relayed on social media by Tariq Panja, journalist at New york times. UEFA says that “following a hearing held on January 22, 2020“, she decided to punish Manchester City for breaking several rules of financial fair play.
In “overvaluing its sponsorship income in the balance of its accounts submitted to UEFA in 2012 and 2016“, the English club owned by the ruling family of Abu Dhabi is therefore guilty of”serious violations“FPF rules, a mechanism devised by Michel Platini, then president of UEFA, in order to prevent excessive spending by European teams. In addition to these violations, UEFA specifies in this press release that”the club did not cooperate in the investigation“led by the judgment chamber of the Club Financial Control Commission (ICFC).
Manchester City to appeal to CAS
In addition to this exclusion for two seasons from all European competitions, UEFA also ordered Manchester City to pay a fine of 30 million euros. In the process, the English club announced, also in a press release, that it would appeal this decision before the Arbitral Tribunal for Sport (CAS). “Manchester City disappointed but not surprised by UEFA decision“, can we read in the press release.”Simply put, this case was started by UEFA, sued by UEFA, and tried by UEFA. After this harmful process, the club will seek an impartial judgment as soon as possible“.
Starting point of the investigation opened by UEFA, the Football Leaks, an investigation carried out by a consortium of European newspapers, had revealed the use by the Mancunian club of overvalued sponsorship contracts and diverted contracts to lighten its mass wage. Manchester City had already been fined € 60 million, of which € 20 million was closed in 2014 for breaking FPF rules.
Less than twenty-four hours ago, Pep Guardiola, the club's coach, spoke about his future in Manchester: “If we do not win against Real Madrid (in the knockout stages of the Champions League, note), the owner or the sporting director of the club will come and tell me: “it is not enough, we want the Champions League “, and they will fire me.“With this bombshell information on the European football scene, his future, like that of many players in the Citizens' squad, could take a completely different direction.