Manchester City Issue Strong Response Over Champions League Ban Reports

Home » Manchester City Issue Strong Response Over Champions League Ban Reports

The Premier League champions have hit back over reports they are facing a one-season Champions League suspension.

City are concerned their “good faith” in EUFA’s investigation into their financial affairs could be “misplaced” following the claims.

UEFA launched a formal investigation into Manchester City in March after allegations made by German publication Der Spiegel that the English outfit breached its Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules. The claims were revealed by documents obtained by Football Leaks.

Four-time Premier League champions City welcomed the probe “as an opportunity to bring to an end the speculation resulting from the illegal hacking and out of context publication of City emails”.

Manchester City’s March 7 statement said: “The accusation of financial irregularities are entirely false.”

New York Times released a new report on Monday saying members of the investigatory chamber (IC) of UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body would hand a one-season suspension from the Champions League.

Chief investigator Yves Leterme will forward any recommendation to EUFA’s disciplinary arm, which would decide whether any proposed punishment should be effected.

City released another statement on Tuesday in which they maintained to be in total cooperation with UEFA’s investigation and prompted a commitment to due process.
The statement read: “Manchester City FC is fully cooperating in good faith with the CFCB IC’s ongoing investigation,” the statement read.

“In doing so the club is reliant on both the CFCB IC’s independence and commitment to due process; and on UEFA’s commitment of March 7 that it will make no further comment on the matter while the investigation is ongoing.

“The New York Times report citing ‘people familiar with the case’ is therefore extremely concerning.

“The implications are that either Manchester City’s good faith in the CFCB IC is misplaced or the CFCB IC process is being misrepresented by individuals’ intent on damaging the club’s reputation and its commercial interests. Or both.

“Manchester City’s published accounts are full and complete and a matter of legal and regulatory record.

“The accusation of financial irregularities are entirely false, and comprehensive proof of this fact has been provided to the CFCB IC.”
The New York Times, however, does not mention any “people familiar with the case”.

It is understood UEFA is unlikely to issue a public comment on the New York Times report or Manchester City’s statement while the investigation is underway.

The Manchester club were punished for breaching FFP rules in 2014 and operated with a spending limit and a reduced squad size for the 2014-15 UEFA campaign.

In January, retired Belgian Prime Minister Leterme told Sport and Strategy magazine that Manchester City should be banned from the competition, if claims that the club added up hundreds of million pound sponsorship deals with Abu Dhabi firms using the personal riches of owner Sheikh Mansour were found to be true.

“If what has been written about Manchester City is true, there might be a serious problem,” Leterme said.

“This can lead to the heaviest punishment – exclusion from UEFA competitions.”

Football governing bodies FIFA, the Premier League and the FA are also looking into City’s operations regarding numerous aspects of the Football Leaks allegations.


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