Premier League club, Manchester City will play in the Champions League next season after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) overturned the club’s two-year ban from European football.
Back in February, Manchester City were handed the suspension by UEFA’s club financial control body for “serious breaches” of club licensing and financial fair play regulations.
At that time, the independent Adjudicatory Chamber of UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) found City guilty of “overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to Uefa between 2012 and 2016”.
The findings also noted that City “failed to cooperate in the investigation” and ruled that the club should be banned from European football for the next two seasons and fined €30million (£26.9million).
The club vehemently denied any wrongdoing and appealed the decision at CAS last month.
At 9:30 on Monday morning, the verdict from the three-day appeal hearing which took place in June was announced in the club’s favour.
They will now be allowed to play in the Champions League and pay a €10m reduced fine instead of the initial €30million they were handed.
A City statement said: “Whilst Manchester City and its legal advisors are yet to review the full ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), 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.
“The Club wishes to thank the panel members for their diligence and the due process that they administered.”
A UEFA statement remarked: “UEFA takes note of the decision taken by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to reduce the sanction imposed on Manchester City FC by UEFA’s independent Club Financial Control Body for alleged breaches of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play regulations.
“UEFA notes that the CAS panel found that there was insufficient conclusive evidence to uphold all of the CFCB’s conclusions in this specific case and that many of the alleged breaches were time-barred due to the 5 year time period foreseen in the UEFA regulations.
“Over the last few years, Financial Fair Play has played a significant role in protecting clubs and helping them become financially sustainable and UEFA and ECA remain committed to its principles.
“UEFA will be making no further comments on the matter.”
The verdict will come as no surprise to Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola, who said last week he was “so confident” City would be playing Champions League football next season.
The Spaniard said: “On Monday, I’m so confident because I know and hear the arguments of the club. Next season we will be there and after I will give my opinion and the club will give a statement.”