Premier League Champions Manchester City have been hit with a bombshell only days after retaining their title with a 1-4 win over Brighton in what has been the closest title race for years.
It has been leaked that Uefa investigators are looking to ban City from next years Champions League if they are found guilty of breaking Uefa’s financial rules explusion
The investigation which is believed to be in its final stages was started after evidence was first leaked to a German newspaper Der Spiegel last year. The papers report suggested Manchester City had broken the Financial fair play rules by inflating the value of a multi-million pound sponsor ship deal.
The club denied any wrong doing and Uefa have not commented since as it was an ongoing investigation, how ever according to the New York times the Investigators have decided the guilt themselves and want City banned!
With that in mind the final decision goes to the lead investigator, former Belgium prime minister Yves Leterme, who is now the Chairman of Uefa’s independent financial control board. As there is no vote in these cases, he is basically the Judge, Jury and executioner. He is however allowed to listen to the views of his fellow investigators who are all understood to have expressed at a recent meeting that a season ban would be suitable punishment should City be found guilty.
Should the decision which is believed to be less than 48 hours away go against Manchester City and if a ban is in fact imposed it is highly unlikely to come into effect in time for next season, as the Premier League giants would probably apply, taking it to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, thus ensuring they are free to play in Europe for at least another year.
However, a guilty verdict would still be a massive blow for the side that is despite to win Europe’s Elite club competition and would add to their issues regarding a separate investigation which see’s the FA, Premier League and Fifa currently running a joint investigation into the clubs signing of youth players, which could result in a transfer ban for the club.
As always, the club have quickly realised a statement which said;
“Manchester City FC is fully cooperating in good faith with the CFCB IC's [Club Financial Control Body Investigatory Chamber] ongoing investigation.
“In doing so the club is reliant on both the CFCB IC's independence and commitment to due process; and on Uefa's commitment of the 7 March that it ‘will make no further comment on the matter while the investigation is ongoing'.
“The New York Times report citing ‘people familiar with the case' is therefore extremely concerning.
“The implications are that either Manchester City's good faith in the CFCB IC is misplaced or the CFCB IC process is being misrepresented by individual’s intent on damaging the club's reputation and its commercial interests. Or both.
“Manchester City's published accounts are full and complete and a matter of legal and regulatory record. The accusation of financial irregularities are entirely false, and comprehensive proof of this fact has been provided to the CFCB IC.”
Should Manchester City be found guilty and issued subsequently banned from the champions league the lost venue would be much larger than the £49m the club was fined for their last breach of the ‘Fair play rules’ back in 2014.