Manchester City’s Champions League Ban Is Overturned (Published 2020) (2023)


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The club, one of the world’s richest teams, had faced a two-year exile from Europe’s top soccer competition. Its victory is a blow to the credibility of UEFA’s cost control rules.

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Manchester City’s Champions League Ban Is Overturned (Published 2020) (1)
(Video) Manchester City overturns 2-year ban from Champions League

LONDON — Almost as soon as it was accused of breaking European soccer’s cost control rules, Manchester City dug in and began the fight to clear its name.

It criticized the hackers who leaked private club documents and the media organizations that reported on them. It railed against the accusations (“entirely false”) and the process (“unfair”) and, most of all, the punishment: a two-year ban from the Champions League.

City officials vowed to do “everything that can be done” to fight the ban. Bankrolled by one of the world’s richest men, they seemed prepared to spend any sum to prevail.

What few knew was that City’s salvation was there in plain sight the whole time: a handful of words in a section of the rules of UEFA, European soccer’s governing body. Those rules set a five-year time limit on the infractions eligible for punishment and, in effect, barred investigators from ruling on some of the most serious accusations against City.

They also allowed a three-member panel at the Court of Arbitration for Sport to rule Monday to overturn the Champions League ban, imposed last year for what UEFA had called “serious breaches” of cost control regulations. In announcing its decision, the panel cited UEFA’s rules, which it said meant many of the most serious findings against City — whether true or not — were inadmissible.

(Video) CAS Reveals Why It Overturned Manchester City's Champions League Ban

The decision was not only a triumph of a technicality. CAS also found, and UEFA agreed, that there was “insufficient conclusive evidence” to uphold all of the conclusions that had resulted in the Champions League ban.

A fine of 30 million euros (about $34 million) was reduced to 10 million ($11.3 million), an acknowledgment that City had in fact breached some regulations by failing to cooperate with the investigation. But on the most important issues, City’s victory was complete.

“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,” Manchester City said in a brief statement.

The lifting of the Champions League ban, which had hung over Manchester City for more than a year and raised questions about the club’s finances and its credibility, will have significant consequences for both the team and UEFA.

Manchester City officials had vehemently, and repeatedly, denied any accusations of wrongdoing, and the prospect of being barred from the Champions League risked upending one of the most ambitious projects in global sports.

For UEFA, the latest high-profile reversal of its effort to uphold its so-called financial fair-play regulations — and the second time its own rules have been at the root of its defeat — has created new doubts about the future of its efforts to police overspending by its biggest clubs, and its ability and willingness to police its members’ actions.

The CAS panel said in a statement posted on the court’s website that the most serious breaches found by UEFA were either “not established” or no longer relevant (in the court’s words, “time-barred”).

Manchester City remains in contention to win the Champions League this year; it won the first leg of its round-of-16 tie against Real Madrid in March before the coronavirus pandemic forced a temporary halt to the event. UEFA is scheduled to resume the competition this summer.

Since being acquired in 2008 by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the billionaire brother of the ruler of the United Arab Emirates, Manchester City has risen from relative obscurity to become one of soccer’s most valuable and successful brands. It fields one of the best teams in the world and is led by Pep Guardiola, the Spanish coach who oversaw its collecting every available trophy in English soccer last season.

Monday’s ruling means the team will continue to perform on one of sports’ biggest stages, and one of its most lucrative. City had stood to lose about $200 million in Champions League payments from a two-year ban, but it would also have been costly in terms of damage to City’s carefully cultivated reputation and its ability to attract top players and coaches. Now it will remain among the favorites to win the competition year after year.


(Video) Manchester City UEFA Champions League ban lifted

Instead, it will be UEFA that faces new scrutiny. It is the second time UEFA has been judged to have fallen afoul of its own statutes of limitations. In a previous case, involving another wealthy Gulf-owned team, Paris St.-Germain, CAS agreed with P.S.G. that the adjudicatory arm of UEFA’s financial control body had not acted in time.

UEFA on Monday acknowledged in a statement that the panel found that many of the breaches attributed to City “were time-barred due to the five-year time period foreseen in the UEFA regulations,” but it appeared eager to put the case behind it. “UEFA will be making no further comments on the matter,” it said.

But UEFA’s ability and willingness to police its regulations sustained a blow. Financial investigators in the City case had sought advice from UEFA’s in-house legal team before starting work on the case, and had asked about the statute of limitations, according to a person familiar with the organization’s discussions.

The rules were created in 2009 as several top European clubs teetered on the brink of bankruptcy and have largely proved to be successful, though they have worked against clubs like City, P.S.G. and others as their wealthy owners have sought to supplant more established powers.

Lawyers for City and UEFA presented their arguments to the panel during a video hearing in early June. City had said it would spare no resource to defend itself. It contended that the UEFA process was one-sided and that an impartial body like CAS would overturn the ruling, which came after damaging leaks in 2018 that suggested the team had engaged in illegal accounting tactics to get around UEFA’s cost control rules.

Citing internal documents and emails, those reports suggested City had disguised millions of dollars of direct investment by its owner, Sheikh Mansour, as sponsorship income. One document, published by the German weekly Der Spiegel, appeared to show that the team’s main sponsor, the Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, had paid only a fraction of an $85 million sponsorship agreement.

City had denounced the publication of stolen documents as “out-of-context materials purportedly hacked or stolen,” contending that the leaks were part of an “organized and clear attempt to damage the club’s reputation.”

Its rivals had demanded serious punishment, though, leaving UEFA and its president, Aleksander Ceferin, squeezed by powerful, and wealthy, forces on both sides. Ceferin said he had no role in UEFA’s investigation, which was handled independently by a group responsible for scrutinizing clubs’ adherence to fiscal rules. That group, known as the Club Financial Control Body, ruled against City, adding the fine of 30 million euros on top of the ban.

(Video) Man City's European ban overturned


The rules had not stopped City from winning. It captured two straight Premier League titles, in 2018 and 2019, and had won everything but the Champions League title, the crown its owners covet most. It has another chance to win it in August, when the event is set to conclude with a knockout tournament in Lisbon featuring eight quarterfinalists.

Manchester City’s appeal of its ban was being closely watched by other teams, though, including several that stood to gain had City’s original punishment been upheld. Others in European soccer had felt the stakes were even higher, raising doubts about the authority of soccer bodies to police clubs now owned by powerful state interests.

“Hard to see how UEFA’s FFP rules can survive this,” Gary Lineker, a former England player and now a popular broadcaster, wrote on Twitter. “In fact, can UEFA survive the ramifications?”

Ultimately, City was able to declare victory. Apart from its legal costs, the club’s failure to cooperate with UEFA’s investigators cost it only 10 million euros, far less than City routinely pays for a new player to join its roster.


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(Video) Manchester City UEFA Ban Explained


Why was City ban overturned? ›

So City, although found by Cas to have not cooperated and to have obstructed the investigations of Uefa's club financial control body, have succeeded in having the Champions League ban overturned, apparently by presenting a fuller case to Cas.

Will Man City ban get overturned? ›

Manchester City's European ban was overturned after accusations that the club's owners disguised at least £204m as sponsorship went unproven, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has revealed.

How did man City overturn ban? ›

Why did the CAS overturn the ban and reduce the fine? The CAS concluded that City “did not disguise equity funding as sponsorship contributions” but maintained that the club “did fail” to cooperate with UEFA, the European football's governing body.

Is Man City eliminated from Champions League? ›

Manchester City have been knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid after conceding two goals in the dying seconds of the game. Pep Guardiola's side looked comfortable after a Riyad Mahrez goal put the visitors 1-0 up in the second leg of their semi-final and 5-3 up on aggregate.

Are man City banned from Europe? ›

Manchester City have been banned from UEFA club competitions for the next two seasons after being found to have committed "serious breaches" of financial regulations.

Why is Manchester City not in Champions League? ›

Manchester City have been handed a fine by UEFA due to the 'improper conduct' of their players during the Champions League quarter-final second-leg against Atletico Madrid.

Did Man City win their appeal? ›

Manchester City have won their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) over alleged financial fair play violations and are free to play in the Champions League next season, it was announced on Monday.

Did Man City confirm Haaland? ›

Erling Haaland has completed his move to Premier League champions Manchester City from Borussia Dortmund, the club announced. Haaland, 21, put pen to paper on a five-year deal at the Etihad Stadium. Haaland said: "This is a proud day for me and my family.

Is Haaland to Man City confirmed? ›

Manchester City are delighted to confirm the signing of Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund. The 21-year-old will join the Club on 1 July after penning a five-year deal which keeps him at the Etihad Stadium until the summer of 2027.

Did Man City reject Ronaldo? ›

Manchester City refused to add Cristiano Ronaldo to their ranks in the summer despite being offered the chance to sign the Portuguese following his exit from Juventus, according to the latest information.

Did Man City get a goal disallowed? ›

“They shouted, we shout more,” he said. “Otherwise, here in this stadium, you go. The game was calm and then after the goal was disallowed and after they scored a goal, it was the real Anfield.” On the coin throwing, Guardiola said: “Next time they will do it better.

What did man City do to get banned from Champions League? ›

The decision, announced Friday by an independent financial control body of UEFA, the governing body for soccer in Europe, found that Manchester City had been guilty of multiple violations related to club licensing and so-called financial fair play rules — cost controls put in place by UEFA to try to mitigate the ...

Is Haaland leaving Man City? ›

Erling Haaland could leave Man City in 2024 if a foreign club pays his £175m release clause - Paper Talk | Transfer Centre News | Sky Sports.

Who is leaving Manchester City 2022? ›

Man City transfer ins and outs from 2022 summer window in full as Blues record £60m profit. Manchester City have signed Erling Haaland, Kalvin Phillips and Manuel Akanji, but lost Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Aleks Zinchenko in a busy transfer window.

Why was Haaland substituted today? ›

Haaland, 22, sustained a foot injury during City's goalless draw against his former club Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday and will miss a league game for the first time since signing for the Manchester club. The Norway international was substituted at half-time at Signal Iduna Park and replaced by Bernardo Silva.

Who is banned from UEFA? ›

UEFA has banned Russia from the Women's European Championship in July and from participating in qualifying for next year's World Cup following the country's invasion of Ukraine, European football's governing body has said.

When was City banned? ›

An investigation found that the Adjudicatory Chamber of UEFA's Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) found City guilty of "overstating its sponsorship revenue" between 2012 and 2016.

What does it mean to be banned from a City? ›

A person is subject to immediate ban & bar from a city-owned building or property, including city parks, if that person is observed to violate any city ordinance, city policy, or state law, or engage in conduct that places other persons or property in imminent threat of danger or harm.

What happens if Liverpool ties and Manchester City loses? ›

In the event the teams tie on points, the first tiebreaker is overall goal difference. Manchester City is ahead of Liverpool in that category. The next tiebreaker is goals scored, which City also has the edge in.

Did Manchester City agree to the Super League? ›

Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham have agreed to join a breakaway European Super League. The six Premier League clubs will be joined by AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid.

Is Man City Champions of the Premier League 2022? ›

Manchester City clinched a sixth Premier League title in 11 seasons on Sunday by scoring three times in five minutes to come from behind to beat Aston Villa 3-2 in the finale to avoid being toppled by challenger Liverpool.

What is Man City's biggest defeat? ›

Everton 4-0 Man City. Pep Guardiola's biggest defeat in league football EVER.

Which team has Man City beaten the most? ›

Manchester City have defeated Everton on 72 different occasions in the league, more times than they have defeated any other club in league fixtures - City have played Everton 178 times.

What is Man City biggest win? ›

Guardiola's Manchester City have an 8-0 victory (2019) and 7-0 triumph (2021).
Biggest win margins in Premier League history.
Margin of Victory7
Home TeamMiddlesbrough
Away TeamManchester City
DateMay 11, 2008
20 more columns
27 Aug 2022

Who is Haaland replacing at City? ›

Manchester City has agreed to sign Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund, bringing in one of the world's most exciting young players as a belated replacement for club great Sergio Aguero.

Why didnt Haaland go to Real Madrid? ›

Haaland is a player that Los Blancos made efforts to sign in the summer before he joined Pep Guardiola's squad, but the Norway international didn't want to compete with Karim Benzema to lead the line.

How much did City really pay for Haaland? ›

Manchester City have announced the signing of Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund in a deal worth £51m. City have paid the 21-year-old's release clause and expect to pay £85.5m in total when agent fees, signing bonus and other costs are taken into account.

Who just signed City? ›

Confirmed Man City signings
  • Kalvin Phillips - Leeds, £50m.
  • Sergio Gomez - Anderlecht, £11m.
  • Manuel Akanji - Borussia Dortmund, £15m.
  • Raheem Sterling - Chelsea, £47.5m.
  • Oleksandr Zinchenko - Arsenal, £32m.
  • Gabriel Jesus - Arsenal, 45m.
2 Sept 2022

Does Haaland want to come to Real Madrid? ›

Real Madrid will make an attempt to sign Haaland in the near future. According to Diario AS Haaland did not want to make the move to Real Madrid a couple of months ago but he still has a dream of putting on the famous white shirt hence why he agreed to a release clause in his contract.

Who is Man City signing? ›

Exclusive unveiling of the Club's new signings Julian Alvarez, Erling Haaland, Kalvin Phillips and Stefan Ortega Moreno. Interviews with each of our new recruits.

What did Haaland say about Man City? ›

"In the beginning, yes. But, yeah, Manchester City is a big club, so they need, in every position, many guys on the top level.

Who Is Better Man U or Man City 2022? ›

Is Manchester United better than Manchester City? Currently Manchester City has a better 1vs1 performance index with 100. Manchester United has 20 goals and Manchester City has a total of 40 goals. Our opinion is that currently Manchester City would win the match.

What is Haaland's shirt number at Man City? ›

Erling Haaland has elected to wear the No. 9 shirt at Manchester City.

Why was Haaland goal disallowed? ›

VAR review: It seems a soft decision, with the referee disallowing the goal because Bamford pushed Gabriel as the Arsenal man was about to head the ball on the edge of the six-yard box.

Who scored the disallowed goal? ›

Manchester United players surrounded referee Craig Pawson after he disallowed a goal by Cristiano Ronaldo, with the Portuguese claiming Newcastle had taken a free kick before he raced to take the ball away from goalkeeper Nick Pope and slotted it into an empty net.

What disallowed goal mean? ›

(a) Disallowed Goal

A goal that has not been allowed due to a foul, an offside decision or another illegal action. Another expression is 'To have a goal chalked off'. Example: Diego Maradona's goal against England in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final should have been disallowed for handball.

Did Man City violate FFP? ›

The club was sanctioned for FFP breaches in 2014 when the rules had come into force, albeit £33 million of a £49 million fine was returned three years later as City met with operational and financial measures put in place by UEFA.

Why did Miz get banned? ›

Controversies. On September 19, 2022, Rinaudo was accused by fellow twitch streamer Trainwreckstv of downplaying and covering up an incident where his roommate and fellow Twitch streamer CrazySlick allegedly sexually assaulted another Twitch streamer by the name of AdrianahLee.

Why did Liverpool get banned from Champions League? ›

Liverpool saw 14 of its fans found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in Belgium in 1989 after a five-month trial. The fans were given three-year jail sentences, with half of the terms suspended. English teams were finally readmitted to the UEFA after the 1990 World Cup.

Is Manchester becoming the New London? ›

Manchester is the top rated city to replace London as the capital, according to a survey. A YouGov poll for Times Radio found that one in six people - around 16 per cent - support moving the UK capital away from London.

Is Jesus leaving Man City? ›

Arsenal's Brazil striker Gabriel Jesus left Manchester City because he no longer wanted to play under Pep Guardiola, he said in an interview published by ESPN Brasil on Friday.

Who bought Manchester City in 2008? ›

On September 1, 2008, Manchester City were taken over by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan's Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG), changing the face of the club—and the English game—forever.

Who is better than Haaland? ›

Kylian Mbappe vs Erling Haaland: Club assists

Mbappe once again enjoys a clear edge over Haaland in the number of assists provided in club football in his career to date. The Frenchman has provided over 100 assists in eight seasons so far.

Is Haaland playing v Leicester? ›

Erling Haaland out of Man City's Premier League game against Leicester. Manchester City XI: Ederson, Stones, Cancelo, Gundogan, Grealish, Laporte, Rodri, De Bruyne, Alvarez, Silva, Akanji.

Why did England get a stadium ban? ›

Uefa - who govern European football matches - handed out the ban as a punishment for "the lack of order and discipline inside and around the stadium" for the game. The ban will be in place for England's next home game in a Uefa competition, which will be in the Nations League next June.

Why is Manchester City under investigation? ›

The Premier League has been asked to confirm whether it has investigated the billionaire owner of Manchester City Football Club under its “fit and proper” owners' test, over allegations of helping Russian oligarchs avoid western sanctions after the invasion of Ukraine.

When did City have their takeover? ›

Since September 2008, the club is owned fully by Sheikh Mansour. Khaldoon Al Mubarak has been Chairman since September 2008, when he took over from previous owner, Thaksin Shinawatra.

When were city bought over? ›

On September 1, 2008, Manchester City were taken over by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan's Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG), changing the face of the club—and the English game—forever.

Why are England being punished? ›

England have been ordered to play their next UEFA-sanctioned match behind closed doors with a second game ban suspended for two years following 'for the lack of order and discipline inside' Wembley Stadium at the Euro 2020 final.

Why did Liverpool not build a new stadium? ›

A subsequent redesign of this stadium brought the capacity to 60,000, and planning permission was granted for this in 2003. Construction on this never progressed past the ground works due to a lack of funds.

How long did Liverpool get banned from Europe? ›

In the aftermath, all English clubs were banned for five years from competing in Champions League and UEFA Cup play. Liverpool's ban, at first indefinite, was eventually set at 10 years and then later reduced to six.

Which club has the most money in the Premier League? ›

Latest Premier League news

Manchester United have a calculated value of $4.6 billion, with rivals Liverpool ($4.45 billion) and Manchester City ($4.25 billion) sitting just behind them in 4th and 6th, respectively.

How did city breach FFP? ›

City have also been accused of paying a 'significant portion' of former manager Roberto Mancini's compensation 'by way of a fictitious consultancy contract'. The Premier League giants also allegedly pressured underage players 'to sign contracts with Manchester City through monetary payments, in violation of the rules'.

Does Manchester City have real fans? ›

Official Supporters Clubs are our family around the world

With over 330 branches worldwide, fans can proudly come together and share unforgettable City moments whilst cheering on the Club they love from wherever they are based.

How much did Man City pay for Haaland? ›

T&Cs apply. Haaland signed a five-year deal to join City in the summer from Borussia Dortmund for £51.2 million and has been the star of the Premier League season so far.

Is Man City a big club? ›

Winning three Premier League titles, one FA Cup, four Carabao Cups, and reaching one Champions League final during the Catalan manager's tenure thus far, City have become a force to be reckoned with both domestically, and in Europe.

How much is Man City worth? ›

Manchester City brand/team value from 2011 to 2022 (in million U.S. dollars)
CharacteristicBrand value (Brand Finance)Team value (Forbes)*
8 more rows
17 Aug 2022

Which club is the richest club in the world? ›

1. Manchester City is the richest football club in 2022 with revenue of €644.9 million.

Who is the real owner of Manchester City? ›

Manchester City is owned by City Football Group (CFG). The majority shares are owned by Mansour bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Sheikh Mansour has a net worth of around $21 billion.

How good is Manchester City? ›

Manchester City are the reigning Premier League Champions. City finished 12 points clear of second-placed Manchester United in 2020/21 and with players such as Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and Jack Grealish the Manchester team are among the favourites to win the title again.


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