Manchester City have been banned from UEFA club competitions for the next two seasons and fined €30m after being found to have “committed serious breaches of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations,” European football’s governing body has announced.
A statement from UEFA said that the club was guilty of “overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016” and that they had failed to co-operate with an investigation by the Independent Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB),.
City have said they are “disappointed but not surprised” by UEFA’s announcement and will appeal against the punishment to CAS.
“Manchester City is disappointed but not surprised by today’s announcement by the UEFA Adjudicatory Chamber,” read a club statement.
“The club has always anticipated the ultimate need to seek out an independent body and process to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence in support of its position.
“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 judgement as quickly as possible and will therefore, in the first instance, commence proceedings with the Court of Arbitration for Sport at the earliest opportunity.”
UEFA said that the full reasoned decision of the Adjudicatory Chamber will not be published prior to publication of the final award by the CAS.
City have won four Premier League titles since being taken over by Sheikh Mansour, a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family, in 2008.
The club have made no secret of their desire to win European football’s top prize, the Champions League, for the first time and manager Pep Guardiola admitted last year that his tenure is likely to be judged on whether he succeeds in the competition or not, despite having already won two league crowns.
The Premier League champions face Real Madrid in the last 16 of this season’s competition with the first leg taking place at the Bernabeu on 26 February.
Financial Fair Play (FFP) was introduced by UEFA as an attempt to prevent clubs getting into serious financial difficulty by overspending.
Regulations, which must be adhered to by all clubs participating in UEFA competitions, were drawn up in 2009 and introduced at the start of the 2011-12 season, with clubs required to balance their books over the course of three years.
After previously being punished in 2014, City accepted a settlement that included a €60m fine, a €60m limit on transfer spending for thatthe following season and a 21-man limit on Champions League squad size, instead of the usual 25.
UEFA opened a fresh investigation into City following a series of new allegations about the club in the media, led by German magazine Der Spiegel.
It was alleged that City’s breaches of FFP around the same period ran much deeper than UEFA realised at the time of the 2014 settlement.