No fewer than nine English Premiership clubs wanted Manchester City to be banned from the UEFA Champions League.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport have revealed their reasons for overturning Manchester City’s Champions League ban and reducing their fine.
City were initially banned from European competition for two years after being deemed to have committed ‘serious breaches’ of UEFA’s club licensing and Financial Fair Play regulations, and fined £27million.
But earlier this month, CAS announced that City’s ban had been overturned and they were fined just £9m instead.
In the reasons behind CAS’s decision in a massive 92-page document, it was revealed on Tuesday:
- That nine Premier League clubs tried to persuade CAS to prevent Manchester City from overturning their Champions League ban.
- Manchester City showed ‘a blatant disregard’ of Financial Fair Play principles but were not proven to have broken the rules
- City’s failure to co-operate’ with FFP investigation is ‘a severe breach’ that was behind CAS’ decision to hand the club a €10million fine (£9m)
- CAS dismissed the main charges brought against Manchester City ‘must be dismissed’ as they were not established to the comfortable satisfaction of the panel
- Some charges were also dismissed because they were time barred
- Manchester City failed to provide ‘complete and accurate’ copies of the leaked emails published in the media
- CAS described this as ‘particularly serious’ because the ‘production thereof would have preempted any arguments of MCFC as to the authenticity’
City said a total of 5.5million emails had been stolen from them by a hacker, who was an extortionist. But UEFA’s case was only based on six emails – which CAS ruled them to be admissible evidence.
The nine Premier League clubs that tried to persuade CAS to prevent City avoiding their European ban, included the rest of the Big Six, Burnley, Wolves, Newcastle and Leicester.
The 92-page document also revealed that City sent nine lawyers to their Champions League ban court case against UEFA.
After City’s ban was lifted on July 13, CAS 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.’
UEFA initially launched a probe against City following the publication of hacked emails in the German media.
On February 14, they announced that City had broken the rules by overstating sponsorship revenue between 2012 and 2016. Along with the ban, City were fined £26.9m.
Ahead of their appeal, the Etihad outfit said they had ‘irrefutable evidence’ to support their case.