Manchester City have had their two year European Football ban for serious breaches of Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Champions League: Manchester City Ban Overturned
This means City will be allowed to play Champions League football next season, something that previously looked unlikely when they were banned from the competition for two years back in February.
CAS have said the club did not disguise their sponsorship revenue however they did fail to cooperate with UEFA investigations. A verdict of competition ban was deemed too strong, although wrongdoing was found amid the investigation.
Perhaps most controversially the findings were originally sourced via hacked emails. German publication Die Spiegel was the outlet accused of leaking the information to UEFA originally.
The ban was exonerated and the fine was reduced to 10 million Euros by CAS.
UEFA who sanctioned the club originally believed they had a strong case, strong enough to impose a ban of two full seasons. However, on appeal with CAS Manchester City officials have been confident of a result in their favour from the outset.
Man City responded to the news on Twitter ”Whilst Manchester City and its legal advisors are yet to review the full ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the Club welcomes the implications of today’s ruling as a validation of the Club’s position and the body of evidence that it was able to present. The Club wishes to thank the panel members for their diligence and the due process that they administered”
Pep Guardiola’s side are still competing in the Champions League, they will face Real Madrid in the second leg of their last 16 tie when the competition resumes in August.
This news will come as a relief to everybody involved at City, who faced the threat of perhaps losing players and their manager should the ban have been upheld.
Teams chasing Champions League football in the Premier League now face the prospect of missing out. Had the ban remained fifth place in the league would have been enough to secure a Champions League spot, now only the top four will be good enough. This will make the race for Champions League qualification even more interesting as Leicester, Manchester United, and Chelsea scramble for the final two spots.