Manchester City ‘face potential Champions League ban’ over alleged Financial Fair Play breaches
Investigators into Manchester City’s alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play regulations are pushing for a one-year suspension from the Champions League, according to reports.
Allegations that City, who were crowned Premier League champions on Sunday, broke financial rules in 2015 came to light last year due to documents published by Football Leaks.
The articles included emails from club executives which suggested a sponsorship deal worth almost £60million was paid by the club’s owners, the Abu Dhabi United Group, rather than Etihad Airways.
City have previously broken FFP regulations and were fined by UEFA for doing so, and it has long been reported a second breach could lead to harsher sanctions.
According to the New York Times, the sanction could be a ban from the Champions League.
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UEFA’s independent club financial control body, who are investigating the allegations of wrongdoing, are to put forward their findings to the governing body’s adjudicatory chamber over the coming weeks. The report claims they are recommending a suspension from Europe’s elite football competition for at least one season.
Should a ban be confirmed as Manchester City’s punishment, the club would be allowed to appeal and could also take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. There is little chance any ban would come into effect for next season.
City insist they are cooperating with the investigation and said in a statement the New York Times report is ‘concerning’.
“Manchester City FC is fully co-operating in good faith with the CFCB IC’s (club financial control body investigatory chamber) ongoing investigation,” the statement read.
“In doing so the club is reliant on both the CFCB IC’s independence and commitment to due process; and on UEFA’s commitment of March 7 that it ‘…will make no further comment on the matter while the investigation is ongoing’.
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“The New York Times report citing ‘people familiar with the case’ is therefore extremely concerning.
“The implications are that either Manchester City’s good faith in the CFCB IC is misplaced or the CFCB IC process is being misrepresented by individuals intent on damaging the club’s reputation and its commercial interests. Or both.”
As well as the ongoing investigation by UEFA, City are also being looked into by the Premier League, the FA and FIFA.
The Premier League are investigating potential breaches of the regulations concerning signing academy players and third-party ownership, the FA are looking into a payment allegedly made to Jadon Sancho’s agent when he signed from Watford in 2015, while FIFA’s inquiry centres on the signing of eight players from outside Britain who joined City before their 18th birthdays.