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Manchester City: Court of Arbitration for Sport releases reasons for lifting club's European ban

A 93-page document outlining the written reasons for why Man City's two-year ban from European football was overturned has been released by CAS

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SSN's Kaveh Solhekol reports on the written reasons published by CAS explaining why Manchester City's European ban was 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.

The document states that City denied in the strongest possible terms that they had entered into a conspiracy with their sponsors Etihad Airways and Etisalat.

The club insisted a total of 5.5m emails were stolen from them, UEFA's case was based on six specific emails, and a CAS panel ruled that the emails constituted admissible evidence.

The written reasons confirm that on March 9, 2020, nine Premier League clubs - Arsenal, Burnley, Chelsea, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester United, Newcastle, Tottenham, and Wolves - wrote to CAS to ask them not to agree to any City request to lift the ban during the appeal process.

But City never applied for their suspension from European football to be removed, and were confident that the appeal would be heard quickly and that they would win.

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City boss Pep Guardiola said he would welcome a phone call with Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp to discuss the ruling from the Court of Arbitration for Sport

The majority of the panel found that UEFA's allegation that sponsorship income had been inflated was not proven.

Payments from Etisalat were time-barred according to UEFA's own rules, and Etihad Airways' payments were partially time-barred. Meanwhile, the CAS panel was not satisfied that UEFA had properly established their case.

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The panel says UEFA had a legitimate basis to prosecute Manchester City. It found that City failed to co-operate with the investigation by European football's governing body.

The Premier League club failed to provide witness statements or hand over the original versions of the leaked emails.

The CAS panel said City were guilty of a severe rule breach for not co-operating with the investigation and should be seriously reproached. The panel therefore found it appropriate to fine City €10m (£8.96m).

City's ban overturned - A recap

City were hit with a two-year suspension from European football competitions by UEFA's club financial control body (CFCB) in February for "serious breaches" of club licensing and Financial Fair Play regulations.

The Premier League club denied any wrongdoing throughout and appealed the decision in June. CAS overturned the ban and reduced their initial €30m fine to €10m (£8.96m) earlier this month, following three days where evidence was heard by a panel.

City "welcomed" the verdict, but the decision and the status of Financial Fair Play drew staunch criticism from some Premier League managers, including Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has also held talks with the club's chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak, following the ruling from CAS.

City finished second in the Premier League, qualifying for next season's Champions League.

Pep Guardiola's side are taking on Real Madrid in the round-of-16 of this season's competition. The second leg will be played on August 7 at the Etihad Stadium, with City 2-1 up on aggregate in the tie.

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