City were hit with unprecedented charges by the Premier League in February, accused of more than 100 breaches of competition rules that include nearly a decade of misrepresenting their finances to relevant authorities and failing to cooperate with an investigation into them. The club insists it has a “comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence that exists in support of its position”, and will be able to defend themselves at an independent tribunal but the complexity and scale of the case means it could take years before it is heard.
The Blues will be confident of being found not guilty after winning an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in 2020 following similar charges from UEFA. City were temporarily expelled from the Champions League by UEFA for breaching their Financial Fair Play regulations back in 2019. However, CAS ruled a year later that the club did not disguise equity funding as sponsorship contributions – but that City did fail to co-operate with UEFA authorities.
In 2020, CAS overturned a two-year ban from European football and 30million fine that were imposed upon City. It meant that City were free to play in UEFA competitions, and were instead fined 10m for failing to cooperate.
CAS&apos initial statement appeared to suggest that some alleged breaches were “not established” and others were “time-barred” – but what did it all mean for City? Here&aposs what happened.
In 2014, City breached FFP rules and the club were punished by UEFA. The Blues reached a settlement agreement with UEFA, but the case was reopened in 2018 following revelations published in the German magazine Der Spiegel.
The “Football Leaks” documents alleged that City&aposs owners got related parties – such as Etihad Airways – to sign inflated sponsorship deals. It was alleged that they then directed money to said parties, before then receiving the money back as “sponsorship”.
In February 2020, City were slapped with a two-year ban from European football and a 30m fine. However, the Blues insisted that they would be vindicated by an independent judicial body. A year later, CAS overturned the ban for breaching UEFA&aposs Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations and failing to cooperate with an investigation by the governing body of European football&aposs Club Financial Control Body (CFCB).
As a result, the club were free to compete in UEFA competitions but were fined 10m for failing to cooperate.