UEFA have announced that Manchester City will serve a two season ban from the Champions League after being found to have seriously mislead the governing body and breaking financial fair play (FFP) rules.
The reigning Premier League Champions have also been fined £30 million for a breach of the rules that is seen to be serious by the European governing body.
Pep Guardiola’s men will serve the ban during the 2020/21 and 2021/22 season, meaning that the club will be prohibited to compete in any UEFA competitions over the two seasons.
City were found guilty by the Independent Adjudicatory chamber of the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) to have misled UEFA in their FFP submissions by inflating their sponsorship revenues.
Click to play
Tap to play
The video will start in8Cancel
However, the club deny the accusation and are likely to appeal the decision at the court of arbitration for sport.
Should the decision stand, it will serve as a boost to Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League next season, with fifth place qualifying for the competition.
In a statement on their official website, Man City responded to the punishment while making it clear they will appeal the decision.
“Manchester City is disappointed but not surprised by today’s announcement by the UEFA Adjudicatory Chamber. 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.
“In December 2018, the UEFA Chief Investigator publicly previewed the outcome and sanction he intended to be delivered to Manchester City, before any investigation had even begun. The subsequent flawed and consistently leaked UEFA process he oversaw has meant that there was little doubt in the result that he would deliver. The Club has formally complained to the UEFA Disciplinary body, a complaint which was validated by a CAS ruling.
“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 judgment as quickly as possible and will therefore, in the first instance, commence proceedings with the Court of Arbitration for Sport at the earliest opportunity.”