manager Pep Guardiola said his team deserved an apology, after their
two-year Uefa ban from European football was overturned by the Court of
Arbitration for Sport (CAS) – a verdict he called a “good day for
Guardiola said the club’s reputation had been damaged
by the furore around allegations that they broke Financial Fair Play
(FFP) rules and fired back at comments from managers Jose Mourinho and
Monday’s decision by the Court of Arbitration
for Sport (CAS) to overturn Manchester City’s European ban marks a
significant victory for the English club in their long conflict with
MAY 2014: FIRST SANCTIONS
Charged for failing to maintain a balance between their revenue and expenditure, with a deficit that exceeded the 30-million-euro ($34 million at current exchange rates) maximum at the time, City accepted a conditional fine of 60 million euros in May 2014 to be deducted from European prize money, of which 40 million euros would be lifted if the club met other conditions over the following two seasons.
These included a smaller limit on losses, transfer restrictions and a reduced squad in Europe.
NOVEMBER 2018: REVELATIONS IN FOOTBALL LEAKS
wide-ranging expose, dubbed ‘Football Leaks’, published by a consortium
of European newspapers included the revelation that Manchester City
had, among other strategies, used overpriced sponsorship and backdoor
contracts to conceal subsidies from owner Sheikh Mansour, the deputy
prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, to sidestep Financial Fair
Play (FFP) limits.
The reports alleged that Sheikh Mansour had
funnelled 127.5 million euros to the club through City’s sponsors, which
include Etihad, the Emirati airline.
Some of the allegations had
been laid out in a 2015 report by a consortium of US airlines
complaining that they were facing unfair competition from
state-subsidised Gulf airlines.
MARCH 7, 2019: NEW UEFA INVESTIGATION
opened an investigation into “potential violations of the rules of
Financial Fair Play”. The possible punishments ranged from a reprimand
to a ban from European competitions.
FEBRUARY 14, 2020: CHAMPTIONS LEAGUE BAN
Valentine’s Day, UEFA’s Adjudicatory Chamber banned City from European
competitions for the next two seasons for “serious financial fair-play
breaches” in its accounts for the period 2012-2016.
The English champions were also fined 30 million euros ($32.5 million).
They immediately launched an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
JUNE 8-10, 2020: CAS HEARING
CAS, the arbitrator in sports cases, hears the appeal through a
videoconference. It announces that “at the end of the hearings, both
parties expressed their satisfaction with the conduct of the
JULY 13, 2020: CAS LIFTS CITY’S BAN
set aside the ban, ruling that “most of the alleged breaches reported
by the Adjudicatory Chamber… were either not established or
It said that many of the alleged offences could not be punished because of UEFA’s five-year statute of limitations.
said that while City were guilty of obstructing the UEFA investigation,
it was over-ruling the “more significant violation” of “dishonest
concealment” of funding.
The only penalty was a fine of 10 million euros, to be paid to UEFA.