Man City face Champions League ban, protest innocence

Tom HomewoodAssistant Producer
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 12: A general view outside the stadium as the players of Manchester City celebrate in front of their fans with the trophy after winning the Premier League title at the Etihad Stadium on May 12, 2019 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Manchester City FC/Man City via Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 12: A general view outside the stadium as the players of Manchester City celebrate in front of their fans with the trophy after winning the Premier League title at the Etihad Stadium on May 12, 2019 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Manchester City FC/Man City via Getty Images)

Manchester City could be banned from the Champions League for a season should they be found guilty of breaking financial rules, according to reports.

Manchester City, who were crowned Premier League champions on Sunday, insist they are "fully co-operating in good faith" with UEFA's ongoing investigation into alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play regulations.

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City 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.

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

The New York Times reported Monday that European football’s governing body would recommend City be hit with a ban from the Champions League.

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.

Manchester City celebrate with the Premier League (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Manchester City celebrate with the Premier League (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

"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 £49million 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."

PA.

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