By Adedapo Adesanya
Premier League top side, Manchester City Football Club, emerged victorious on Monday after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled in their favour.
The court, in its ruling on Monday, removed the two-year ban from European competitions earlier handed down by the Union of the European Football Association (UEFA) on the English football outfit in February.
The CAS also slashed Manchester City’s fine from €30 million to €10 million.
This means that the blue side of Manchester, with its present position on 2019/2020 season’s table of the English Premier League, is eligible for the UEFA Champions League 2020/2021 tournament.
Business Post learned that CAS’s verdict noted that, “The CAS award emphasised that most of the alleged breaches reported by the Adjudicatory Chamber of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) 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.
“However, considering (i) the financial resources of MCFC; (ii) the importance of the cooperation of clubs in investigations conducted by the CFCB, because of its limited investigative means; and (iii) MCFC’s disregard of such principle and its obstruction of the investigations, the CAS panel found that a significant fine should be imposed on MCFC and considered it appropriate to reduce UEFA’s initial fine by two-thirds, i.e. to the amount of EUR 10 million.”
On its part, Manchester City noted that, “’Whilst Manchester City and its legal advisors are yet to review the full ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the club welcomes the implications of today’s ruling as a validation of the club’s position and the body of evidence that it was able to present.
“The club wishes to thank the panel members for their diligence and the due process that they administered.”
Reacting, UEFA said, “UEFA takes note of the decision taken by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to reduce the sanction imposed on Manchester City FC by UEFA’s independent Club Financial Control Body for alleged breaches of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play regulations.
“UEFA notes that the CAS panel found that there was insufficient conclusive evidence to uphold all of the CFCB’s conclusions in this specific case and that many of the alleged breaches were time-barred due to the five-year time period foreseen in the UEFA regulations.
“Over the last few years, Financial Fair Play has played a significant role in protecting clubs and helping them become financially sustainable and UEFA and ECA remain committed to its principles. UEFA will be making no further comments on the matter.”
As it stands, Leicester City, Chelsea, Manchester United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Southampton will have to fight the two remaining spots to qualify for the next UEFA Champions League.
The clubs have three games remaining for the season with the exception of Manchester United and Southhampton, who have four games to play but will both meet tonight at Old Trafford.
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