Man City banned from Champions League, Europa League and possible Super Cup for next two seasons

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A statement released by UEFA read Man City men’s team is banned from all European competitions for two seasons which include 2020/21 and 2021/22.

In addition to this Man City is also served with a fine of €30million which roughly translates to £24.9million or $32.5million.

This is due to their ” 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.” According to the statement .

It is also clear that Man City Women’s Team will not be affected by this UEFA ban.

This does not come as a surprise to many who were following this situation closely for two years. So let’s take a closer look at the events.

Timeline Of Events related to UEFA ban

2014 :

Manchester City was found guilty of overspending by UEFA and a fine of £49million and restrictions on the size of Champions League squad was imposed.

November 2018 :

Der Spiegel a well-reputed German magazine publishes articles claiming Man City has flagrantly flouted UEFA’s FFP laws. Their source was football whistleblower website Football Leaks headed by Rui Pinto

Man City dismissed by claiming ” This as an attempt to damage the club’s reputation which is organized and clear”.

UEFA warned Man City that they might reopen 2014 investigations into the club and Man City files an appeal against UEFA at Court of Arbitration for Sport(CAS).

March 2019 :

UEFA formally started an investigation into Der Spiegel’s allegations, former Belgium prime minister Yves Leterme and chairmen of Independent Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body(CFCB) will head the investigation.

Man City Responded with a statement claiming

“The accusation of financial irregularities are entirely false. The club’s published accounts are full and complete and a matter of legal and regulatory record”.

November 2019 :

Court of Arbitration for Sport(CAS) ruled Manchester City’s appeal as “inadmissible” because UEFA had not reached a final decision on the case.

February 2020 :

The adjudicatory chamber of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB), chaired by José da Cunha Rodrigues found that Manchester City Football Club committed serious breaches of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations.

Man City has overstated its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016 according to the statement by UEFA.

Manchester City has released a strongly worded statement which read as follows

Manchester City is disappointed but not surprised by today’s announcement by the UEFA Adjudicatory Chamber. 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.

In December 2018, the UEFA Chief Investigator publicly previewed the outcome and sanction he intended to be delivered to Manchester City, before any investigation had even begun. The subsequent flawed and consistently leaked UEFA process he oversaw has meant that there was little doubt in the result that he would deliver.  The Club has formally complained to the UEFA Disciplinary body, a complaint which was validated by a CAS ruling.

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 judgment 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 can Man City Do now?

Based on their statement in which they claimed that the case was initiated by UEFA, prosecuted by UEFA and judged by UEFA it is safe to assume that they are not going to go down easily.

They have some of the best lawyers the money can buy on their books and Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland is surely going to be their next stop.

Who will play in Europe next season if Man City are banned?

It might be safe to assume Manchester City will finish in Top 4 then according to the UEFA rules

If a team is disqualified then the next best-placed team in the domestic League will qualify

UEFA rule 4.08 states: “A club which is not admitted to the competition is replaced by the next best-placed club in the top domestic championship of the same association, provided the new club fulfills the admission criteria. In this case, the access list (see Annex A) is adjusted accordingly.”

What about Man Cities Premier league status?

If Man City is found guilty in CAS, then there will also be possible points deduction in the Premier League as the clubs are required to provide all the sponsorship details to gain Premier League license.

A points deduction would not affect title race with the way Liverpool are playing or see them get relegated as relegated 20 point deduction is a far reach even for EPL, while the Champions League or Europa League race is over for them.

Some outlets are circulating the claim that Man City might be forced to play in League Two but that will be not on the basis of a UEFA report but English top-flight would start an investigation into the matter on their own.

Sheffield United could take their spot in Champions League as they sit fifth in the table if Man City is disqualified to play in Europe given the table remains the same come to the end of the season.

Financial Implications if they miss Champions League for two seasons

Saying that the battle against UEFA in CAS is a high stakes battle is putting it lightly considering close to £200million is at stake only through missing Champions league football over two years.

This includes Broadcast, matchday, and commercial revenue that arises due to the club participating in the Champions League.

Manchester City was ranked sixth in Deloitte Football Money League 2020 only behind Barca, Real Madrid, Bayern, Man Utd, and PSG while Liverpool was close 7th to city.

With Puma deal starting in 2019/20, reportedly delivering a significant uplift on their previous deal with Nike and a new deal with a training kit partner, Marathonbet revenue was expected to increase this year but if they lose this battle next year will look a lot worse than this.

We can expect revenue to drop in all three segments( Broadcast, matchday, and commercial) if European football stays away from Etihad Stadium.

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