Manchester City’s ban from European football competitions has been overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
City was banned by UEFA, European football’s governing body, for “serious breaches” of club licensing and Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations and was excluded from European competitions, including the Champions League, for two seasons.
But CAS on Monday ruled that the club “did not disguise equity funding as sponsorship contributions” after City appealed the ruling in February.
It was decided, however, that City had failed to cooperate with UEFA authorities and an original fine of 30 million euros ($34 million) has been reduced to 10 million ($11.3 million).
“Whilst Manchester City and its legal advisors are yet to review the full ruling by 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,” said a statement from City.
“The club wishes to thank the panel members for their diligence and the due process that they administered.”
FFP rules state clubs can only lose $32 million over three seasons, otherwise they will be liable to a fine or suspension.
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In response, the governing body in a statement says, “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.”
“UEFA notes that the CAS panel found that there was insufficient conclusive evidence to uphold all of the Club Financial Control Body’s (CFCB) conclusions in this specific case and that many of the alleged breaches were time-barred due to the five-year time period foreseen in the UEFA regulations.
“Over the last few years, Financial Fair Play has played a significant role in protecting clubs and helping them become financially sustainable and UEFA and ECA remain committed to its principles.”