Why have Manchester City been banned from the Champions League and what comes next?

Ben Burrows
The Independent

Manchester City have been banned from Uefa club competitions, including the Champions League, for the next two seasons and fined 30million euros (£24.9million) for breaching Financial Fair Play rules, it has been confirmed.

European football’s governing body have found them to have committed “serious breaches” of financial regulations.

The decision of the Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) is subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

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What are Manchester City alleged to have done?

European football’s governing body say that the reigning Premier League champions overstated sponsorship revenue in accounts submitted between 2012 and 2016.

This is in breach of their Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules - designed to regulate spending in the world game - and brings with it stern punishment.

The scale of the alleged offence has seen Uefa levy a two-year ban from all European club competitions, beginning next season.

What have Uefa said?

A Uefa confirmed the news in a statement on Friday evening.

“The Adjudicatory Chamber, having considered all the evidence, has found that Manchester City Football Club committed serious breaches of the Uefa Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations by overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to Uefa between 2012 and 2016.

“The Adjudicatory Chamber has imposed disciplinary measures on Manchester City Football Club directing that it shall be excluded from participation in Uefa club competitions in the next two seasons (ie: the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons) and pay a fine of 30 million euros.”

Findings published by UEFA also state that the club “failed to cooperate in the investigation of this case by the CFCB”.

What have Manchester City said?

City say they are “disappointed but not surprised” by Uefa’s announcement and will appeal against the punishment to CAS.

“Manchester City is disappointed but not surprised by today’s announcement by the Uefa Adjudicatory Chamber,” read a club statement.

“The club has always anticipated the ultimate need to seek out an independent body and process to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence in support of its position.

“Simply put, this is a case initiated by Uefa, prosecuted by Uefa and judged by Uefa.

“With this prejudicial process now over, the club will pursue an impartial judgement as quickly as possible and will therefore, in the first instance, commence proceedings with the Court of Arbitration for Sport at the earliest opportunity.”

What now?

City will now appeal to CAS to see if they can get the ban overturned or reduced.

In the absence of a successful appeal, Pep Guardiola’s side would be unable to compete in the Champions League until the 2022/23 campaign.

There is also the likelihood of further punishment from the Premier League, which could include a points penalty.

Guardiola's own future as manager is also likely to be called into question should the ban over competing at the top level of the European game for the next two years not be overturned.

Additional reporting by PA

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