Pep has the last laugh
Manchester City have won their battle with UEFA and their European ban has been lifted.
The Premier League club were banned from European football for two years in February after UEFA found they had committed ‘serious breaches’ of its Financial Fair Play regulations.
But many of the alleged breaches were more than five years old while City, adamant that they had done nothing wrong, appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), who heard the case last month.
And this morning, they announced that City did not disguise equity funding but did fail to co-operate with UEFA.
The exclusion was lifted while a €30m (£27m) fine was reduced to €10m (£9m).
Failing to co-operate did not warrant a ban.
Sportsmail understands that any challenge of the ruling by UEFA to the Swiss Federal Courts is ‘unlikely’ at this stage.
CAS released their verdict on Monday morning, and said: ‘Most of the alleged breaches reported by the Adjudicatory Chamber of the CFCB (UEFA’S Club Financial Control Body) were either not established or time-barred.
‘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.’
City were also quick to release a statement of their own, welcoming the news that they will be able to play in the Champions League next season.
The club said: ‘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.’
Just minutes after the decision was announced, UEFA released a statement on their own website, too.
It read: ‘UEFA takes note of the decision taken by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to reduce the sanction imposed on Manchester City FC by UEFA’s independent Club Financial Control Body for alleged breaches of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play regulations. -DAILY MAIL