A decision on a two-year ban from UEFA competitions for Man City will arrive in July, it was confirmed Wednesday.
The reigning Premier League champions were handed a two-year ban from all UEFA competitions back in February over alleged financial fair play breaches as their system was hacked and internal emails allegedly showed an intent to block UEFA’s investigation into their finances.
Man City appealed the ban with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and that appeal was heard from June 8-10, as the arbitrators will now spend five weeks deliberating before revealing their decision.
A statement was released from CAS which states that Man City will find out if their appeal was successful in the first half of July.
“The decision is expected to be issued during the first half of July 2020. The exact date will be communicated in advance. The CAS arbitration concerns an appeal filed by Manchester City FC against the decision of the Adjudicatory Chamber of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) dated 14 February 2020 in which it was deemed to have contravened UEFA’s Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations and sanctioned with exclusion from participation in UEFA club competitions in the next two seasons and ordered to pay a fine of EUR 30 million.”
CAS added that ‘both parties expressed their satisfaction with respect to the conduct of the hearing procedure’ as the hearing took place in Switzerland and London via video conference links.
Man City are still in UEFA competition for the 2019-20 season, as they face Real Madrid in the Champions League Round of 16 second leg holding a 2-1 advantage from the first leg in Madrid back in February.
It is widely expected that Man City could have their ban reduced from two seasons to one on appeal. Pep Guardiola and several of his key players have spoken out in support of the club, as the Champions League is the holy grail for both City’s Abu Dhabi owners and Guardiola.
The Champions League is the one trophy he has failed to win so far at Man City and this decision will have a huge say in how the next few seasons will go for the club, as their finances will take a hit if they don’t have the Champions League cashflow, plus the likes of Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and others may move on if they are unable to play in the Champions League during the prime of their careers.
There is plenty riding on this decision from CAS, as there is also the potential for the fifth-place team in the Premier League to be handed a Champions League berth for next season if their ban is upheld as City are sitting comfortably in second place in the table with 10 games of the season to go.