Manchester City lodge appeal against two-year Uefa ban and fine

Manchester City have registered their appeal to the court of arbitration for sport (Cas) against the ruling by Uefa’s club financial control body (CFCB) that the club overstated its sponsorships from 2012-16, and therefore the sanctions of a two-year ban from the Champions League and €30m (£25m) fine.

City had said on 14 February they might immediately appeal, during a very strongly worded statement rejecting the findings of the CFCB’s adjudicatory chamber (AC) that the club had committed “serious breaches” of Uefa’s financial fair play rules by overstating the sponsorships.

Although the AC’s members, mostly senior European lawyers including English barrister Charles Flint QC, won’t have their reasons for the findings published until after the Cas decision, the overstatement is known principally to concern City’s main sponsorship by the Abu Dhabi state airline, Etihad. City’s owner, Sheikh Mansour, may be a senior member of the Abu Dhabi ruling family, and internal City emails published by the German magazine Der Spiegel in November 2018 suggested that Mansour was funding the majority of the £67.5m Etihad sponsorship. City have vehemently denied wrongdoing.

Cas said during a statement it had registered the appeal by City, which is “directed against the choice of the adjudicatory chamber of the Uefa club financial control body”. Cas said it could give no timescale for the appeal, which needs each side to submit written arguments and evidence, then a hearing before a panel of three lawyers, who haven’t yet been appointed. judi bola terbaik

If the method is concluded by early summer, as City’s chief executive, Ferran Soriano, has said he hopes for, then City are going to be excluded from subsequent two seasons’ Champions League competitions if the ban is upheld. If the method isn’t concluded by the time next season’s Uefa competitions start, City are going to be clear to play in 2020-21, then if upheld by Cas, the ban will become for the subsequent two seasons.

In 2018 Milan’s appeal to Cas against an AC decision to ban the club from Uefa competitions for 2 years was concluded within three months. Cas upheld the AC’s finding that Milan breached FFP financial limits, but annulled the two-year ban and sent the sanction back to the AC for reconsideration. Uefa and Milan then settled on a one-year ban, and although Uefa will normally be expected to defend the choices and processes of the CFCB at a Cas appeal, discussions a few settlement can happen at this stage.

City were reported within the legal press to possess instructed the renowned constitutional barrister David Pannick QC as an addition to their legal team for the Cas appeal. Pannick, who successfully argued at the supreme court against Boris Johnson’s government’s proroguing of parliament last year is within the same London chambers, Blackstone, as Flint.

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