Man City see their Champions League ban overturned by CAS
In February, Manchester City were banned from participating in Champions League or Europa League on top of being handed a €30 million fine as UEFA found them guilty of breaching Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.
Man City responded by denying the allegations and then initiated an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against their punishment by UEFA.
City boss Pep Guardiola said on many occasions that he was confident about his side getting their ban overturned. It would appear he was right and his wish has eventually come to stay
The verdict to their appeal was announced on Monday morning with the Sky Blues managing to successfully defend their case.
CAS has lifted the two-year European ban on Man City and even reduced the fine imposed on them to €10 million.
The CAS statement read: “Manchester City FC did not disguise equity funding as sponsorship contributions but did fail to cooperate with the UEFA authorities.
“As the charges with respect to any dishonest concealment of equity funding were clearly more significant violations than obstructing the CFCB’s investigations, it was not appropriate to impose a ban on participating in UEFA’s club competitions for MCFC’s failure to cooperate with the CFCB’s investigations alone.”
The importance of the verdict cannot be overstated for Pep Guardiola and his future plans for the club, as many of his players were rumored to be seeking an exit from Etihad in the fear of losing out on Champions League football.
Manchester City are now on 72 points in the Premier League and it means they will definitely be in the competition next season after they recently secured second spot mathematically.
In terms of the Premier League standings, this ruling might come as a blow to the likes of Chelsea, Leicester City and Manchester United. The initial thought was that 5th position would still be enough to make Champions League nest season should City’s ban stand. All of that is off the cards now and only a top-four finish for any side will guarantee a spot in Europe’s elite club competition next term.
Man City can now turn their focus to the Champions League where they face Real Madrid in the second leg round of 16 clash.