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Manchester City Hit with 2-Season UCL Ban, €30M Fine over FFP Violation

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIFebruary 14, 2020

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 02: Pep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City reatcs during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on February 02, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Manchester City have been banned from UEFA club competitions—the Champions and Europa Leagues—for two seasons and fined €30 million (£24.9 million) after being found to have breached the European governing body's financial fair play (FFP) rules.

Rob Harris of the AP shared UEFA's full statement:

Rob Harris @RobHarris

Full details of Man City being banned from Champions League for TWO SEASONS for "serious breaches" of UEFA financial rules https://t.co/sYVG5orSRt

The news will be a severe blow to the Premier League champions, but Pep Guardiola's side have released a statement in which they said they will appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport "as quickly as possible."

The Citizens have been found guilty of "overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts" and also in the information given to UEFA between 2012 and 2016. Manchester City were also found to have breached regulations by having "failed to cooperate in the investigation."

The investigation was brought about after allegations by German magazine Der Spiegel and Football Leaks in November 2018, as shown by Get French Football News:

Get French Football News @GFFN

Breaking | Football Leaks headline: Manchester City’s owners allegedly injected €2.7bn into the club over the last 7 years through its shareholders & over-valued sponsorship contracts which infringe FFP regulations.

Get French Football News @GFFN

Football Leaks claim that a Manchester City executive sent an email following the death of an FFP investigator as follows: "One has fallen, there are six to go." https://t.co/3H6pQJljBo

In their statement, the club say they are "disappointed but not surprised" and called the investigation "flawed and consistently leaked."

BBC reporter Dan Roan shared the full club statement:

Dan Roan @danroan

Man City “disappointed” & will appeal https://t.co/SdjcjdWXZn

Ed Malyon at The Athletic explained why Manchester City could get the punishment overturned:

Ed Malyon @eaamalyon

The severity of the financial and playing impact this ban would have on Man City means I think they’ll throw full legal might at getting it turned over - which means they probably succeed... But if this punishment stands in current form it’s a watershed moment in modern footbal

Friday's decision will also have ramifications for the Premier League and qualification for next season's Champions League, as highlighted by ESPN FC's Dale Johnson:

Dale Johnson @DaleJohnsonESPN

The big news from this is that Champions League qualification will now drop to 5th, so Sheffield United in a UCL spot. Europa League places may possibly drop down to 8th, which right now would give Man United a 2QR place. https://t.co/D9MsAkFmaQ

Manchester City's ban could also have an impact on manager Pep Guardiola who is contracted to the club until summer 2021.

The Spaniard's future has come under scrutiny after his team slipped 22 points behind leaders Liverpool in the Premier League. He told Sky Sports he thought he could be sacked if City fail to beat Real Madrid in the Champions League last-16 tie.

The Citizens are not the first club to be banned from European competition by UEFA for breaking FFP rules, Dynamo Moscow and Galatasaray have both been handed suspensions, but Friday's decision will still send shockwaves through the football world.

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