Manchester City appeal UEFA European ban to Court of Arbitration for Sport
CAS says it's "not possible" to indicate when matter will be resolved
Last Updated: 26/02/20 4:13pm
Manchester City has filed an official appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against a two-season ban from European competitions.
City were handed the ban and fined £24.9m on February 14 for "serious breaches" of UEFA's Financial Fair Play and club licensing regulations, after being found guilty by an Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB).
In a statement, UEFA said City "overstated its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016".
The club were also found guilty of "failing to cooperate in the investigation by the CFCB" and will be banned from Europe in the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons.
The club immediately made clear their intentions to challenge that ruling, saying in a statement at the time that they were "disappointed but not surprised" by the verdict, describing the process as "prejudicial".
In their first extended response to the ban, City's chief executive Ferran Soriano described the allegations as "false", adding that the club "will do everything that can be done to prove so."
In their statement on Wednesday, CAS said: "The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has registered an appeal filed by Manchester City football club against the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).
"The appeal is directed against the decision of the Adjudicatory Chamber of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) dated 14 February 2020 in which Manchester City was deemed to have contravened UEFA's Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations and sanctioned with exclusion from the next two seasons of UEFA club competitions for which the club would qualify and ordered to pay a fine of 30 million euros.
"Generally speaking, CAS appeal arbitration procedures involve an exchange of written submissions between the parties while a Panel of CAS arbitrators is being convened.
"Once the Panel has been formally constituted it issues procedural directions, including, inter alia, with respect to the holding of a hearing.
"Following the hearing, the Panel deliberates and then issues its decision in the form of an Arbitral Award.
"It is not possible to indicate at this time when a final award in this matter will be issued."
Will UEFA have 'the stomach' for a fight?
Analysis from Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol…
"I think City have a decent chance of overturning this ban. Up until now this case has been investigated and judged by independent lawyers, judges and politicians who make up UEFA's financial control body.
"When this case goes to CAS, this will be the first time that UEFA itself will have to defend this decision.
"In the past at CAS, we have seen that UEFA has not really had the stomach for the fight of taking on big European clubs.
"PSG, Galatasaray and AC Milan have all been successful at CAS and in the past we have seen those clubs turn up with some of the best sports lawyers in the world.
"Up against them UEFA have previously not sent any legal representatives, just written submissions.
"If I was a Manchester City fan, I wouldn't be confident but I would be hopeful that this ban may be reduced or even overturned.
"UEFA want this sorted out before the summer because they want to know who will be in the Champions League next season.
"The good news for City and UEFA is that CAS have an expedited appeals process. They are very mindful of the sporting calendar and can act pretty quickly to judge these cases.
"If Manchester City accept that decision then this whole matter could be finished by the summer but they have the option of taking this to other courts and in the past there have been cases that have run for up to a decade."