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Report: Manchester City Asks Court to Block UEFA's Case for Champions League Ban

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJune 5, 2019

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 07: The Manchester City badge on a board during the Group F match of the UEFA Champions League between Manchester City and FC Shakhtar Donetsk at Etihad Stadium on November 7, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Manchester City are reportedly already taking steps to prevent UEFA from banning the club from next season's UEFA Champions League. 

City are under investigation by European football's governing body after accusations of circumventing financial fair play rules appeared in German publication Der Spiegel in 2018.

Being found guilty could result in a ban from Europe's top club tournament. The Premier League champions have responded by asking the Court of Arbitration for Sport to "throw out the case," per Rob Harris of the Associated Press.

UEFA have conducted an independent investigation of allegations made in Der Spiegel, an inquiry that's now led to investigators seeking a ruling and sanction from judges.

Sources speaking to Harris anonymously have revealed City are "challenging the legitimacy and haste of the investigation." City refused to comment to Harris on their request to CAS.

Christoph Winterbach @derWinterbach

According to @RobHarris @AP, ManCity doesn’t even want to await Uefa‘s sentence and tries to challenge it already. Can we draw any conclusions from that, about what kind of verdict the club expects? This is the story that started it all: https://t.co/2xQfEi2PTz #FootballLeaks https://t.co/tdN790TnNs

The accusations levelled at City involve concealing profits from inflated commercial arrangements to reduce losses and the risk of incurring FFP penalties, according to Harris.

City may be likely to take on losses given the unprecedented outlay in a playing squad that's set records in English football the past two seasons. The Citizens claimed the Premier League title in 2018 as the "Centurions," the first team to capture the prize with 100 points.

Manager Pep Guardiola and his players did even better this season by completing a domestic treble of the league title, Carabao Cup and FA Cup. It's the first haul of its kind in the English game, yet the questions about possible financial impropriety aren't going away.

City completed the treble by thrashing Watford 6-0 in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium last month. Guardiola's post-match press conference took an intense turn when Harris (h/t Goal's Sam Lee) posed a question that's arisen from the allegations:

Sam Lee @Sammy_Goal

Guardiola got asked if he has received payments from Abu Dhabi for services other than managing City, as was alleged to have happened with Mancini. He was not happy. “Do you realise what you are asking me? You are asking me that the day we won the treble? Are you accusing me?”

Harris defended his right to ask a difficult question at a moment where City were in celebratory mood:

Rob Harris @RobHarris

48 hours on, Man City/Guardiola yet to clear up matter of if the manager receives any salary from Sheikh Mansour’s Abu Dhabi team like Mancini was shown in leaks to have allegedly received. Simple yes/no answer to questions first posed in November? https://t.co/mKmoy5y2Cp

On the pitch, City are still missing glory in the Champions League, making ongoing participation arguably more important to the club than its ability to outspend the rest in the transfer market.