Man City appeals to CAS over potential FFP charges

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Manchester City is taking proactive action against UEFA after allegations of misleading the UEFA Club Financial Control Body of the value of sponsorships and other revenue emerged.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said in a press release that it had received an appeal from Man City against the Investigatory Chamber of the CFBC due to UEFA’s decision to refer the matter to the CFBC for potential punishment for breaching Financial Fair Play. In theory, the CFBC could kick Man City out of European competition, including the UEFA Champions League and all its television and sponsorship revenue.

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Man City has denied that it mislead UEFA investigators and that all of its financial dealings and accounting books are above board, but a previous report in Der Spiegel said that Man City’s ownership group in the United Arab Emirates overvalued certain sponsorships, like the Emirates Airlines deal for the stadium naming rights and the shirt chest sponsor, which has allowed Man City to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on revamping the squad over the last decade.

Here’s the statement from CAS:

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has registered an appeal filed by Manchester City Football Club (MCFC) against the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). The appeal is filed against decisions taken by the Investigatory Chamber (IC) of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) regarding MCFC’s alleged non-compliance with UEFA’s Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations.

An arbitration procedure will now be initiated and will involve an exchange of written submissions between the parties while a Panel of CAS arbitrators is convened to hear the appeal. Once the Panel has been formally constituted, it will issue a procedural calendar. It is not possible to say at this time when the Arbitral Award for this matter will be issued.

CAS will not provide any further information in relation to this procedure, except to issue a Media Release announcing the Panel’s decision.

It remains unclear what the timeline is on this case, but Man City’s appeal is certainly going to delay proceedings, and even if UEFA rule against Man City, the club can point to this case and say that any ruling can’t go into effect until the highest sporting court has made a decision.

CAS is notorious for being prudent with decisions and taking its time, so it’s safe to say that unless something drastic happens this summer, Man City is almost assuredly going to be participating in the Champions League in 2019-2020.