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UEFA: Manchester City banned from Champions League Football for two seasons and fined €30M

Valentine Chinyem

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English Premiership side Manchester City football club has been banned from participating in the Champion’s League by UEFA, for two years.

The reigning EPL Champion’s were also fined €30 million for misleading European football governing body and for seriously breaching the Financial Fair Play law.

This was following an investigation on several leaked emails and documents by the German magazine Der Spiegel in November 2018.

It was revealed that City were guilty of disobeying Uefa’s club financial control body (CFCB), by falsely inflating their sponsorship revenues, when they made submissions for the FFP compliance process.

According to the documents, City’s owner, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan of the Abu Dhabi ruling family, was discovered to be the financier of the £67.5m annual sponsorship of the City shirt, stadium and academy by his country’s airline, Etihad.

More so, one of the leaked emails stated that only £8m of that sponsorship in the 2015-16 season came from Etihad with the remaining funds coming from Mansour’s personal firm, for the ownership of City, the Abu Dhabi United Group.

The news has since sent shockwaves through the football world in Europe, with many now fearing they could be next.

In their statement, City alleged that the outcome of the investigation was premeditated from the very start, and that the was “flawed and consistently leaked.”

The statement also added that saying the club was “disappointed but not surprised” by the decision taken by UEFA, noting that the ban and fine would be appealed “at the earliest opportunity” at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

“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,” the statement read.

Recall that City were charged last May, but the won’t have any of it, said they had been subjected to a “hostile” process which ignored “a comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence”.

Some football pundits have also accused other big football clubs for being behind UEFA’s decision to ban Pep Guardiola’s side.

In lieu of this, City are facing a possible Premier League points deduction and could even be forced to play in League Two, following the decision by UEFA to ban them from playing in the Champions League.

If this happens, City would be looking to allow some players leave in the summer to get the much needed Champions League exposure every footballer dreams of.

Clubs looking to boost their side won’t be far from the club.

The Athletic, also claim that City studying rivals clubs financial activities,

“Manchester City have been keeping a studious eye on their European rivals’ financial activities since they have been under investigation. They have been taking notes on transfer expenditure, and clubs receiving extra funds from sponsors,” the statement reads.

The ban would take effect from next season, and should the case remain with CAS beyond that period, City would be allowed to play in the Champions League, till judgement is passed.

Machester City are currently second in the Premier League table with 51 points, that is 22 points behind league leaders, Liverpool.

They will play Spanish giants Real Madrid in the Champions League round of 16 on the 26 of February.

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