Cyprus Mail
Champions League

Uefa investigators ‘want City banned from Champions League’

Manchester City lost to Tottenham in an extraordinary Champions League quarter-final this season and have never got past the semi-finals

Manchester City are “fully co-operating in good faith” with Uefa’s ongoing investigation into alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play regulations by the club.

The Premier League champions have, however, expressed concern about reports that investigators will push for a Champions League ban before any official statement has been made by the European governing body.

Uefa opened an investigation into alleged financial irregularities at the club earlier this year.

A statement from City read: “Manchester City FC is fully co-operating in good faith with the CFCB IC’s (club financial control body investigatory chamber) ongoing investigation.

“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.”

City were fined £49 million and hit with restrictions on transfer spending and the size of their Champions League squad after FFP breaches were originally investigated in 2014.

However, Uefa began a new probe after further allegations about the same period initially looked into were made in German publication Der Spiegel last year.
City have denied any wrongdoing.

The statement added: “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.”

A statement from Uefa read: “We do not comment on ongoing investigations regarding financial fair play matters,” but according to the New York Times, investigators now want rules upheld and City punished with a ban.

The BBC reported on Tuesday that a final decision is yet to be made by chief investigator Yves Leterme.
The former Belgian prime minister, chairman of the investigatory panel of Uefa’s independent financial control board, is set to make a recommendation this week.

With no vote in such cases, the final say lies with him but several of his colleagues are understood to have firmly expressed the view at a recent meeting that a season-long ban would be a suitable punishment if City are found guilty.

Uefa’s adjudicatory chamber would have to decide whether it agreed with any recommendation from Leterme, although it is unlikely to apply to next season’s competition because City could appeal, and even take their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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