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